Unlike former American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who took to Twitter on Emmy night to express his dismay and shock over The Voice‘s win for Outstanding Reality-Competition Show (Idol, Lythgoe wrote, was “The first, the best and the program that changed the face of TV”), former Idol judge and X Factor creator Simon Cowell says he “couldn’t give a shit” about the perceived snub.
“The only thing I care about are the ratings [for my show],” he told The Hollywood Reporter with a laugh at an X Factor screening party, held at West Hollywood’s Soho House on Monday evening. There Cowell, along with fellow judges Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio, premiered a 20-minute clip of the forthcoming “four-chair challenge” round — a new sudden-death elimination twist to air in the coming weeks.
“This came form X Factor Holland, where they used it very successfully,” Cowell explained of the format, which allows judges to swap out their picks from 10 semifinalists until a final four is chosen. “We elaborated on it, and it’s very different than anything we’ve done before,” he continued. “This is probably some of the most exciting TV we’ve made on one of these shows. It is dramatic, it is controversial, but we all love that …”
True to his word, Cowell had tongues wagging inside the penthouse club when invited press realized his pregnant girlfriend, Lauren Silverman, was by the Brit’s side. The two later nuzzled in a corner by themselves before Cowell sat down for a procession of interviews. Silverman didn’t budge.
As for the show’s latest tweak, there’s no doubt it’s incredibly dramatic to watch those who’ve come so far get sent home when they’re so close. Then again, the gentle touch was never Cowell’s trademark. As he described to THR, “We thought we can make this bigger and better. It aired in England over the weekend and people went nuts — half loving it and half hating it.”
In other words, exactly the reaction Cowell was hoping for.