3:04pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'X Factor's' Simon Cowell Confirms Two Hosts for Season 2, More Americans
Simon Cowell seems fixated on differentiating The X Factor from NBC’s The Voice and his former Fox show, American Idol. So aside from the sight of two new superstar female judges on the panel, he confirmed that the show will have two hosts next season.
“It’s time for a change,” the executive producer and judge said Wednesday during a press call.
“We’ve been doing this for 11 years, these shows,” he continued. “You just can’t keep doing the same thing, and I think we learned a lesson last year. The traditional host role on a show like this has to change into something else. And therefore the show will look different and feel different.”
Cowell echoed concerns expressed in a recent interview with FremantleMedia North America CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz, whose company is a producer on both Idol and X Factor.
While he admitted that he’s always wanted a male-female hosting duo for the Fox show, Cowell said he knows now that the job has become too difficult for a single host.
“What we’ve learned from the show is you’ve got so much information you have to relay as one person,” he says. “And I think that it’s almost impossible to have one person doing the hosting job. You’ve got to give out so much information now, the telephone lines, the integration of the sponsors. I mean, they’re like newscasters now, these hosts. It’s a much, much bigger role.”
He also said that he envisions more dynamic and fun possibilities for two hosts. “They can be in different parts of the studio throughout the show," he said. "And I think you’re going to see a different kind of chemistry with two people.”
When asked about the possibility that Cowell and Idol host Ryan Seacrest could reunite on X Factor, Simon remarked, “I think Ryan is brilliant at what he does. I think Ryan is also a very good negotiator. I admire him for that. He’ll stay on Idol.”
So, who is he considering for the new dynamic hosting duo? He didn't say, though he did mention the decision – as well as who will take the vacant judging spots – will be announced within the next few weeks. For now, he was able to say that there’s one thing he really wants more of in the new hires, and it may be fueled partially by viewers' tepid response to Jones.
“I do think it’s important – I’m going to talk myself out of a job here,” he joked, “that we have more Americans on the show.”
At any rate, Cowell (who has avoided actually naming a ratings expectation since his 20-million viewers declaration blew up in his face during season one) says he does expects higher ratings for the second season – one similarity with The Voice that he said he wouldn’t mind.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro