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Cowell : The ego has crash landed

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    Posted: 27 May 2011 at 00:25

Cheryl Cole sacked: Simon Cowell's Midas touch deserts him

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Simon Cowell (Pic:Getty Images)

WATCHING his protege Cheryl Cole skulk back into Britain, Simon Cowell must have taken time to reflect on the string of humiliating disasters that have beset his once-glittering showbiz empire this year.

It was he, the King of British TV, who told her it was time to “break” the US, and insisted she joined him on the American X Factor.

No matter that the US public had never heard of her, or that TV executives hated the idea. He would make it work.

So Cheryl announced her fantastic new job with words she must now regret. “I’m so excited to be taking part in American X Factor,” she gushed. “I can’t decide whether I am more excited to find and nurture the talent or for the unbelievable amount of amusement and ­entertainment I will have watching Simon doing ­everything he can to beat me.

“He’s tried to beat me for three years in the UK, and hasn’t even come close. His ego must be so bruised.”

A couple of weeks later, both of their egos are battered.

Cowell, 51, spent months trying to assemble the perfect judging panel in the US, but he was thwarted at every turn.

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First Latina pop goddess Jennifer Lopez rejected him in favour of American Idol. That show finished on Wednesday with 29 million viewers tuning into the final – up 20% on last year, when Cowell was still a member of the panel.

The pain of losing J-Lo to American Idol must have been sharpened when the show’s supremo, Cowell’s arch-rival Simon Fuller, was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday.

Still smarting from missing J-Lo, Cowell turned to Cee Lo “Crazy” Green. Gnarls Barkley star Cee Lo said: “I didn’t say no but I didn’t say yes either.” And, in what could be seen as a snub, he then signed for rival show, The Voice.

Other stars followed suit – P Diddy and Snoop Dogg both rejected Cowell’s advances, claiming they needed more money.

In the end, after several weeks of deliberations, the line-up was settled as Cowell, his old American Idol sidekick Paula Abdul, Mariah Carey’s manager L.A. Reid and Cole.

Meanwhile, Cowell’s rivals were up and running. The Voice drew 12 million viewers and plenty of critical acclaim.

And X Factor was ignored by Rolling Stone magazine which highlighted the American Idol V The Voice face-off on its cover with no mention of Cowell’s show.

And reports of Cowell’s unusual behaviour linger on. This month ITV entertainment boss Elaine Bedell admitted it’s not unusual for him to ring her at 1.30am. “He still calls me at those hours,” she said. “You’d have thought now he’s in the US that would change.”

He has long complained that he doesn’t sleep well, and some eyebrows have been raised at his enthusiastic partying – often accompanied not by his fiancée Mezhgan Hussainy, but close pal TV’s Paul McKenna.

ITV chiefs are less than impressed by the recent negative publicity. Some comment that Cowell has shown scant regard for the British show, favouring the American version.

Having decided that both he and Cheryl would work in the US, he is said to have sparked Dannii Minogue’s UK departure by changing the audition dates at the last moment, leaving her with no option but to quit.

Of the four judges who were so popular in 2010, only Louis Walsh remains. Dannii has reportedly been driven out, Cheryl was carted Stateside and Cowell is said to have never had any intention of being on the UK panel.

The Cheryl U-turn is not an isolated ­incident. In 2007, Louis Walsh was sacked and replaced by Brian Friedman only to be reinstated a few weeks later when Friedman was ushered back behind the scenes.

ITV was yesterday planning to announce Destiny’s Child Kelly Rowland and N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos as the new judges. Instead, bosses spent the day desperately trying to decide who to drop, who to include and how to spin the sorry mess.

By 6pm there was still no decision, but you could sense executives’ frustration. The X Factor is the channel’s biggest show and auditions start on Wednesday, yet no one knows who will be on the judging panel. A source told me: “Simon Cowell wants to be seen as the arch manipulator, the controller of everyone’s destiny, yet he seems to be losing his touch. He thinks he keeps everyone on their toes by leaving announcements until the last minute, but it just looks desperate.

“He prides himself on being able to charm everyone into doing what he wants but the tactic is not working. He couldn’t get most of the US stars he wanted for the X Factor and the Fox guys over-ruled him on Cheryl, which has got to hurt.

“He was the one who’d championed her but it wasn’t enough. Now she’s stuck in an awful limbo and the buck stops with him. She has been humiliated in the worst possible way and it’s so unnecessary.”

And it will do little to endear Cowell to his ITV bosses as he launches new show Red or Black, a reworked version of Channel 5’s Heads or Tails.

Yesterday ITV said judges would be announced “in due course”, adding that there’d been no comment about Cheryl on this year’s show. However, on May 5, the X Factor website said: “It’s with a pride-filled lump in our throat that today we announce Cheryl Cole’s departure from the UK version of The X Factor.”

Last night Cowell’s army of PR executives remained unusually tight-lipped.


Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2011/05/27/cheryl-cole-sacked-simon-cowell-s-midas-touch-deserts-him-115875-23159729/#ixzz1NVJ5wYCs

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