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TCA: Simon Cowell says Britney Spears is 'mean' on 'X-Factor'

July 23, 2012|by Greg Braxton
  • L-R: L.A. Reid, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears and Simon Cowell on the set of THE X FACTOR airing on FOX.
L-R: L.A. Reid, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears and Simon Cowell on the set of… (Ray Mickshaw/Fox )

Will the theme song for the new season of Fox's "The X Factor"be Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time?"

It might be, judging from what Simon Cowell said about Spears joining the singing competitiion series along with Demi Lovato.

"She's quite mean," Cowell said of Spears during a TCA session for the series. He also teased Lovato about her bluntness toward him and the contestants, calling Lovato "a brat." Still, he praised both singers for bringing what he called youthful energy and honesty to the series.

Cowell, along with Spears, Lovato and returning judge L.A. Reid, were speaking via satellite from Miami, where they are conducting boot-camp auditions. It was one of the first times the judges had appeared together since the announcement that they were replacing Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.

"I felt we needed a change," said Cowell, saying the series needed to revamp because of the several other singing competition series. He and Reid said Lovato and Spears were closer to the demographic that purchases pop music, and "they are harder to please."

When the new judges were asked what singing shows they liked to watch, Simon quipped, "Don't mention 'The Voice.' "

That competition has added to his pressure to find "a blockbuster" group: "That's the reason I brought this show to America."

Spears, whose involvement with "The X Factor" followed a rough patch of personal upheaval and tabloid exploits, appeared calm and in good spirits. She said that after her extensive show business experience, her goal was to "give back and enable people to achieve their dreams."

And Lovato, who wore a braid tinted blue, said she didn't feel she was mean to participants on the show: "I'm not tough. I'm just really honest."

Cowell said he would probably announce a new host for the show next month to replace Steve Jones, who was fired after last season. He hinted it might be two hosts — a male and female — who ideally will not have previously hosted a series.

He smiled when asked about the news that Mariah Carey had joined his former show"American Idol"  as a judge: "I'm happy for her. I think she will find it difficult to say no" to singers who are not good.


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