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LONDON – Given America’s Got Talent reigning as the summer’s top-rated TV show and recently being renewed for a 10th season by NBC, its creator, producer and judge Simon Cowell probably isn’t used to being told to “f— off” when he pitches a project.
But that’s exactly what happened when the music mogul presented his idea for a DJ talent contest—which has been given the nod in the U.S. as Ultimate DJ—to people in the dance music industry, according to British DJ and producer Fatboy Slim.
“Simon Cowell was talking about doing a show and everyone in the business, he kind of started approaching us, and we were like, ‘F— off. No, that’s a terrible idea!,” Slim—real name Norman Cook—told U.K. entertainment news site Digital Spy at the Electrobeach Festival in France.
“That’s the good thing about dance music; it grows organically through drunk people late at night coming up with stupid ideas. It’s not something that can be scripted or transported into a TV studio.”
But despite the protests, it seems Ultimate DJ, which was first discussed in 2012 before being shelved, will soon see the light of day, with backing by Cowell’s own Syco Entertainment company alongside SFX Entertainment and T-Mobile U.S.
In April it was revealed that the contest would launch as an online competition, in which budding DJs can submit their mixes for voting across social media channels. Reports claimed it would later progress to live challenges and performances in venues under the ownership of SFX.
In a press statement Cowell, who has no doubt been following the rise of Electronic Dance Music in North America and DJs such as Calvin Harris, who last year earned an estimated $46 million, said the partnership with SFX was a “real game-changer” for the format.
“It made complete sense for us to collaborate with SFX with their access to the best up-and-coming DJs and their great marketing platform to build new DJ talent,” he said.
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