What seems like years ago, I began reading the ridiculously long biography of Simon Cowell by Tom Bower. I’ve had to put up with some very boring Sinitta stories, but I’ve also discovered some amazing gossip. I wrote up some of my favourite bits from Simon’s pop A&R years a few weeks ago, and now I’ve got some dirt to dish on Pop Idol, American Idol and the early days of X Factor…
- The newspapers made a fuss about most of 2012’s X Factor finalists having been scouted for the show, but it’s been happening for many years. For the second series of American Idol, the production team relied “on talent scouts to scour clubs and bars to find potential stars.” Of course nowadays they just look on YouTube.
- I was always certain that Simon supported dreary Lee Dewyze in an attempt to sabotage American Idol, which he was about to leave, but I never connected the dots that his support of Michelle McManus was also to sabotage his rival Simon Fuller! And that time it actually worked, as Pop Idol was replaced with X Factor, the show where Cowell gets the credit and proceeds. Remember Pete Waterman storming off calling the Pop Idol 2 final a farce? Turns out his accusations were quite justified!
- If anyone’s been played for a fool by Simon Cowell, it’s Louis Walsh. During X Factor’s first series, Simon fed Louis lines to use on camera “then crushed him for talking ‘rubbish’.” I would feel sorry for Louis, but he’s earned a lot of money while being entirely incompetent as a judge and music manager, so it’s quite difficult!
- Boring story: Simon narrowly avoided having photos of him being spanked by a fat stripper at his birthday party printed on the front page of The Sun. The interesting part: The photos were leaked by a relative of one of Girl Thing, still angry that Simon had dropped them! My money’s on a relation of Jodi’s since she could have feasibly been at the party with Kian from Westlife.
I’m still only 1/3 through the book, so I’m sure there’ll be plenty more gossip to come. Stay tuned!