'American Idol' rolls on while the tough judge starts up his own singing competition
While "American Idol" has been chugging along quite well for itself in its first season without Simon Cowell, Cowell has been busy preparing America for the arrival of his other hit British singing competition series: "The X Factor." Among the differences between the two shows (besides Cowell being a producer as well as a judge): 1)The judges (Cowell and music mogul Antonio "L.A." Reid so far, with two more judges still to be named) divide up the finalists and pick several to mentor; 2)The age range is much greater, with anyone 12 years and older eligible; and 3)Groups can compete against solo acts.
The cattle call auditions have been going on for about a week, first with a stop in Los Angeles, today in Miami, followed by Newark (April 14), Seattle (April 20), Chicago (April 27) and Dallas (May 26).
We're still a long way away from the show's fall premiere - and seeing whether the two shows can co-exist (in the UK, "Pop Idol" was canceled when Cowell started up "X Factor") - but I spoke with Cowell for a few minutes this morning about how things are going at this early stage, why he prefers this format, and what changes he's noticed so far in "Idol" without him.