As a former judge on defunct reality show X Factor USA, LA Reid says it’s the “worst thing” he’s ever done.
LA did a question and answer session in Cannes, France recently. Asked about being on the American version of X Factor, he admitted “It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done”.
He recalled, the show wasn’t always his priority: “The first season, yes, I had a great time. t was a little bit of a vacation. I’d been making music, working at running labels for a long time, and it was a little bit of, ‘Let me just have some fun.’ But the second season I was fully engaged trying run a label, and it wasn’t fun anymore.
However, it started to wear him down and affect his real life business (as a record label owner). “It really affected my taste — it almost destroyed it. It completely threw me off.”
Why was that? “What works for television isn’t necessarily the thing that works in the traditional journey of music, so I adjusted my taste for television. But the truth is, I lowered my bar — my bar was quite high, if I’m being honest, and as a result I didn’t have the same level of success.”
He’s back to business as usual now though: “The bar is quite high again now,” he says, “But it was damaging. I worked with Simon Cowell, who I love and have great respect for and he has great taste, but being around him for that long, I started to take on his taste, and I’m an amateur at having his taste — I’m good at my kind of taste.”
He says, the show wasn’t really a failure in the traditional sense: “We definitely had the audience. And I can’t criticize Simon because it was his show, and we did well. But I think he made the statement that if we didn’t do 20 million viewers, it was a failure. We did 14 million, which is actually a runaway success, but because we didn’t do 20, it was a failure.”
Moreover, they underestimated the competition: “To be honest?” says LA, “The truth is: The Voice cleaned our clock.”
UPDATE: LA clarifies his comments about X Factor.
My comments at Midem were about me personally and were not meant to reflect on Simon Cowell, the X Factor, or its successes.
— LA Reid (@LA_Reid) June 7, 2015
Previously, Mariah Carey, former judge on defunct singing competition American Idol, called her own show “fake” and “boring”.
Mariah recalled exaggerating opinions about the contestants to make the show more entertaining. But, ultimately, Mariah admitted, it was “the worst experience of my life”.