Feb. 17, 2012 at 9:04 AM ET
With his show on the sidelines this spring, “X Factor’s” Simon Cowell is looking to get attention by elbowing his way into the headlines. A few weeks ago, it was by dumping Steve Jones, Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. That got him the publicity he wanted, but it’s hard to do that more than once a year because he’d quickly run out of people to fire.
On Thursday, he tried a different tactic, tweeting during the “American Idol” Las Vegas round:
“Maybe the winner of @TheXFactorUSA this yr should compete with winner of The Voice & Idol in a super final. Just a thought. I'd be up for it”
Well, duh. Why shouldn’t he be up for it? He’s the show trying to knock “Idol” off its perch. I’m sure he’d also be up for a mixed martial arts fight with Ryan Seacrest, or a stint on “Survivor” with the “Idol” and “Voice” judges. Anything to close that gap.
Others might have ignored Simon at this point, but when has Nigel Lythgoe ever been good at that? He responded with a tweet of his own:
“@simoncowell suggests the IDOL winner should take on the voice and x-factor winners. The problem is the Idol winner will be a star by then.”
On the surface, Simon’s got the high ground. Who wouldn’t want to see the winners of all the singing shows face off? It would be a huge ratings success if marketed well – and given the amount of commercials that all the shows run to promote themselves, it’s a safe bet that everyone would know about it.
Nevertheless, I doubt that Simon actually expects this to happen. The logistics alone would be extremely difficult, since “Idol” and “The Voice” are on in the spring, “Idol” goes on tour over the summer and “X Factor starts in September. “Idol” isn’t going to cancel its tour for this.
But Nigel Lythgoe also is right in his point. “Idol’s” track record is strong, and has a proven ability to create stars. It’s winner is going to be a star soon after the finale. “The Voice” is 0-for-1 in that regard, while we’re still awaiting “X Factor” winner Melanie Amaro’s debut album.
So practically speaking, if you’re “Idol” you’d be risking a lot to gain very little. Your track record of success dwarfs that of your rivals, and it’s hard to see the show seeking company.
It’s also hard to imagine how the format would work. Perhaps each competition’s judges could mentor their winner, then sit in backwards-facing chairs during the performance itself and have Ryan Seacrest interview everyone afterwards. And then the Coke and Pepsi people could fight over sponsorship rights like the Sharks and the Jets, which would spare us a massive group sing. And the “America’s Got Talent” winner would be picketing outside for not being included.
Still, it would be some great television. And the clash of egos in the room would be something to behold.
Would you watch? Is Simon serious? Or is this just an attempt to get attention for his own show? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page.
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