Friday, October 23, 2009

043 Cowell Factor: Hear my exclusive interview with my brother Simon

Listen and I get a Fame Games exclusive with my brother Simon as he tells me all about Big Band week!

But first - never mind Simon...lets break into the Fame Games Talent Bank and find some real talent. This week I’ve found British singer songwriter Eva Turkoni. You know what Eva, I think you have great talent - but you seem to lack self confidence. You say in your bio, “Getting rejected is a sign of hope”. It’s not. If you want my advice…keep writing songs as good as Back Home and you will never be rejected – You will definitely succeed in this business.

And I just have to give a quick shout out to Krista Herring. I love your country song Your Letter.

So what’s been going on in Cowellworld? Well, last week I watched Whitney lose her dress on the X Factor stage - but that didn’t seem to bother Simon. I took refuge in his new £50,000 dressing room where he told me what he thought. Listen the to the interview in this blog!

Yes this week its Simon’s favourite - Big Band week and just to let you in on the secret – Westlife’s new song is called Shadows - which was written by Ryan Tedder who of course wrote bleeding love for Leona - so, it should be a cracker. So who’s going be voted off this week? Not the twins, that’s for sure because they’ve got X Factor choreographer Brian Friedman behind them…so to speak. To listen to my interview with Brian, listen to this podcast!

Some people have described her as homely - others just boring. But Susan Boyle and her music are looking pretty darn good when it comes to making history. says Boyle's upcoming album has become the largest CD pre-order in the history of She beats marks set by Norah Jones, U2, Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay. Whatever!

So here’s the thing…Kurt Cobain said - "Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." I tend to agree. It’s like these X Factor contestants who want to be like Mariah, Christina, or god help us Amy Winehouse. So I couldn’t help but wonder, why do you want to be like someone else? Why can’t you be yourself ?

Take last years X Factor winner Alexandra Burke - who got sooooo emotional when she sang with her hero Beyonce. But In just 12 months Alex has had to grow up real fast. She had to - to survive in this business. Luckily she has the right people around her. And at only 21 she now has her own musical identity. She’s not just another Beyonce! and from what I saw of her performance on the X Factor - she’s very much her own artist. Thank god.

So many new artists tend to model themselves on celebrities, but why are they like that? Each new successful artist has a unique aura. You may not always like them - or buy their music. But the most successful artists stay true to their art. Take it from me, musical copycats will never succeed. The best new artists always tend to carve out their own niche. You have to own your own image. Break your own new ground. Be true to yourself and don’t be swayed by others who want to mould or fashion you into the current trend. If you have talent - let it out naturally. Be your own star - and don’t be celebrity led.

Kurt Cobain died tragically I Know - but through it all he was an innovator. He was always himself. And he was right. "Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are."

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

042 Cowell Factor: Have we crossed the line in our obsession with celebrity?

Robbie Williams makes a rather strange X Factor comeback. Leona Lewis is attacked at a book signing in London…and…Whitney Houston gets set to give the X Factor finalists a vocal master class!

But first - I gotta tell you - I’ve been down in the Fame Games Talent Bank this morning and oh boy …..have I found a hot singer.

Stefanie Shabashova - you are one classy singer. I just love your track Don’t Call Me I’ll Call You. This is such a fun sexy track - and you know what? I also love your ballad All in Time - absolutely stunning. You are definitely the most original female vocalist I have found on Fame Games for a long time.

And I just have to give a quick shout out to another girl singer…Katie Mack.
Katie - I also like your song Everytime You Come Around.

So what’s been goin’ on in CowellWorld? Well…Leona Lewis gets attacked by a loony in a book shop - which has prompted Simon to tighten up security yet again. But you know what? We’ve been here before. You can never do anything to stop a loony no matter how much security you have.
It’s very scary indeed - and I feel sorry for Leona - she’s such a normal sweet person.

Meantime… The X factor hots up and did you see Robbie Williams performance last week? I found the whole thing very uncomfortable. If you saw him - let me know your opinion please.
So who will be voted off the show this week? I spoke with X Factor voice coach the lovely Yvie Burnett - and YVIE told me she thought the two most improved contestants vocally were the Grim twins John and Edward. MMMm…..

Well…it’s Diva week this week with Whitney Houston making her comeback - so god only knows what the twins will sing. And will they get voted off this week? You know what - I don’t think they will.

So here’s the thing - So you STILL wanna be famous? You wanna write that hit song and make millions and become a celebrity do you? Well some of you do. But some of you who I’ve spoken to just want to be able to make a living out of your music. With the news that Leona Lewis was the subject of an unprovoked attack at a London bookshop…I couldn’t help but wonder - at what point does a celebrity become public property. Just because they share their talent why do they lose their claim to privacy and respect? Who signs them over to the loonies? The bullying and stalking of so many celebrities today is testimony to the fact that the line between fact and fiction, has been crossed. It’s reached a point where the boundaries have been pushed so far that the so-called fans out there who truly believe their own fantasies and delusions about whichever celebrity they attach to.

It appears the loonies shift too easily from admiring the celebrity and wanting to be like them into the danger zone of wanting to hurt them. Weird!

I remember being in LA when Terri Seymour was attacked outside the Idol studios. I was with Simon at the house when she came home. She was terrified. Moreover - she didn’t understand it. Why would some woman she had never met before grab her round the neck and try and strangle her?

Taking my mum to Simon’s party last week I was yet again reminded of what celebrities have to endure just dealing with the paparazzi. As our car reached the gates - the photographers just slammed their cameras up against the windscreen - the driver was instantly blinded - and had to stop the car. It was so dangerous. Crazy. And at that point they can’t even see who’s in the car. My 83 year old mum was terrified!

Naturallly I continue to worry about Simon - and how much he is a target. Yea, sure, there is a price to pay for fame and celebrity status. And he can throw as much money as he likes at security men - high fences, electric gates whatever.

So if a celebrity’s energy and time is being consumed in protecting themselves from bullies and stalkers they will never be completely free to share their talent with a world so scary and unpredictable.

Have we crossed the line in our obsession with celebrity?
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The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!