'X Factor's' L.A. Reid Calls Simon Cowell's 20 Million Viewer Goal 'Aspirational'

"I hope that at some point we can get there," the music producer says.

Although he has already rolled back his expectations, Simon Cowell's statement that anything less than 20 million viewers for The X Factor would be considered a disappointment continues to haunt him.

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In reality, the Fox show is holding steady averaging 12 million viewers for the season thus far. And Tuesday’s unveiling of the 17 finalists attracted more than 10 million viewers and it also rated best with the 18-49 demo for the night.

Nevertheless, even his co-judge L.A. Reid was asked to answer to Cowell’s failed declaration on a press call held on Thursday.

“That’s a statement that Simon put out there and I think it was an aspirational statement,” Reid tells reporters. “And I hope that at some point we can get there. I’m not disappointed that we’re not there.”

“The fact of the matter is that we’ve had a very successful show,” he also says. “And whether we hit 20 or not -- I’d like to hit 30, I mean I’d like to sweep it -- but that’s not really what’s important to me.”

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That’s not the only thing that Cowell pulled that Reid was asked to answer for on the call. On Tuesday’s show, Cowell admitted he had made a mistake by cutting Melanie Amaro after her judges’ home audition in France. With the other judges’ blessings, he made a trip Florida to ask her to return to the competition. So, how would the extra person affect the elimination process?

“I’m not exactly sure what that means,” Reid says. “I’m not exactly sure if we’ll end up cutting two in the first episode. I’m not exactly sure, this is for me kind of my first time at bat, my first barbeque, so I’m learning it as I go.”

“But, I was very happy that Simon did go back and rethink Melanie from Miami, because I think she was really fantastic in the auditions,” Reid continues. “So, however it works out, so far it’s working out for the better.”

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro


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