Speaking with reporters yesterday (February 22nd), Simon Cowell was asked about his expectations for groups on the second series of US X Factor, and also whether he though a group could win the competition.
He said: “When we started the show in the UK, it took a few seasons before good groups emerged. It’s interesting that we’re talking this week because One Direction, a group who were third on X Factor UK in 2010, are about to literally explode in America.”
He went further to say: “There is even a chance their album may debut at number one when it’s released. I think that in itself will start making the point that groups can do well in these competitions.”
The first series of the show in the US failed to live up to expectations, so Cowell needs to make sure the second corrects the flaws of the first, with many feeling the presenters on the show needed work – and it has recently been announced that the show will now have two hosts.
Speaking more about One Direction, the 52 year old media mogul said: “I stand by what I said in a press conference last year that I think a group can win this show. We’re trying to encourage better groups to audition and you’ll see a significant difference in the quality of the groups this year, I’m absolutely convinced by that.”
He was then asked specifically how a group such as One Direction was different from the rest of the crowd, stating: “We put them together. I made a decision that they hadn’t quite made it or weren’t ready as solo artists, and the groups that year, I’ve got to admit, were terrible.
“We made a decision on the day we should experiment and put these five guys together. They just felt right. The minute we saw them all standing there we had a feeling it would work. But to be fair, it all came from them; they had all the ideas, they knew the kind of group they wanted to be.”
Cowell continued talking about 1D, saying: “We gave them a lot of latitude, we never hyped the group or pushed it, it happened in its own momentum in America.”
Simon finally added: “It does prove the point that I think we’re entering a very exciting phase again in pop music and I think One Direction will be huge this year. Importantly for the American show it will attract hopefully the next ‘N Sync or Backstreet Boys or Destiny’s Child, because there aren’t that many groups at the moment doing well in America. This is a massive opportunity for them and [allowing groups to audition] does separate us from the other [singing] competitions.”
Proud words from Mr Cowell!