Simon Cowell: Why No One Turned Me Down for 'X Factor'

3:43 PM PST 05/08/2011 by Kimberly Nordyke, Shirley Halperin
Simon Cowell

He denies that Cee Lo Green was offered a job on the Fox singing competition and doesn't rule out the possibility of working with Mariah Carey in the near future: "Whatever Mariah wants, Mariah gets."

Simon Cowell on Sunday denied that he had offered Cee Lo Green a high-profile gig on Cowell's singing competition The X Factor.

"I had a meeting with him," Cowell said ahead of X Factor's first round of auditions in Los Angeles. "I just said hello. I didn't offer him the job. The next thing I'm reading that he turned me down. We saw tons of people; nobody turned us down."

Green, who serves as a celebrity coach on NBC's Mark Burnett-produced rival The Voice, told reporters last month that had been offered a role on Fox's X Factor but turned it down because he was "unfamiliar with the concept of The X Factor."

He added: "I knew the name and I knew the parties involved, but as an enterprise, I didn't know what made it distinctive enough."

X Factor debuts in September, while Voice premiered two weeks ago to strong ratings (5.1 in the adults 18-49 demo) and improved 10% in its second week.

Cowell also denied that he had ever approached Rihanna about judging X Factor.

Meanwhile, Cowell on Sunday didn't rule out the possibility of working with Mariah Carey in the near future.

"Whatever Mariah wants, Mariah gets," Cowell said of the singer, who gave birth to twins with husband Nick Cannon on April 30. 

"All she has to do is call me, and I'll work out a deal," he added. "I think she'll have a presence on one of my shows."

On Sunday, Paula Abdul officially joined Antonio "L.A." Reid and Cheryl Cole on the X Factor judging panel. Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones are set to host.

X Factor is a co-production of Cowell's Syco Television, Fox and Fremantle North America. 

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