“X Factor” U.S. judges Britney Spears and Simon Cowell have been doing several interviews together to promote the second season of the show. And unfortunately, Spears comes across as inarticulate (using a lot of incorrect grammar), boring and so contradictory that she can’t keep her stories straight. At best, her contradictions make her look confused. At worst, her contradictions make her look like a liar.
Even though Spears recently admitted in an Elle magazine interview that she walked out on “X Factor” auditions a few times during her first weeks on the job due to having panic attacks, she is now completely denying not only the walkouts but also the panic attacks. Even worse, she is blaming the walkouts as being the idea of fellow “X Factor” U.S. judge Demi Lovato. (As if 20-year-old Lovato has that much control over 30-year-old Spears’ actions.)
That’s a new low, even for Spears: blaming her flakiness on someone else who is not responsible.
Most people aren’t stupid, and they can see through these pathetic attempts at salvaging Spears’ image. It’s obvious that Spears just doesn’t want to admit on TV that she’s got psychiatric problems.
In the interviews, Cowell doesn’t come across as very honest either. He too is now backtracking on his recent admission that Spears walked out during auditions. And he is still flogging the ridiculous, unbelievable dead horse that Spears is the toughest judge on “The X Factor” and that she is a “mean” judge. Trust me when I say that it is not true that Spears is the toughest judge on the show. I went to several “X Factor” U.S. auditions this year, as did thousands of other people, and Cowell is the only one who is saying that Spears is the meanest and toughest judge on the show. Even Spears is denying it.
It’s very counterproductive that Cowell keeps saying such blatant exaggerations, because people will find out the truth and will see for themselves when Season 2 of “The X Factor” U.S. starts airing that Spears is actually a very passive judge. (The show’s second season has a two-part premiere on September 12 and September 13, 2012, on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time.) Cowell has a reputation for being brutally honest. He doesn’t need to tarnish that reputation in a desperate attempt to make people tune in to “The X Factor” by saying that Spears is the toughest judge on the show, because that “Britney Spears is meaner and tougher than Simon Cowell” persona just does not exist on the show.
People hate being lied to, and this dishonest PR tactic of portraying Spears as “the next Simon Cowell” is going to backfire when people see that she is not like Cowell at all as an “X Factor” judge. She is in fact boring and unoriginal in her comments to contestants.
As for the whole brouhaha over NBC’s “The Voice” having a premiere episode in the same time slot as “The X Factor” U.S.’s Season 2 premiere episode on September 12, Cowell has been griping to the media that NBC and “The Voice” are spoiling Spears’ big “X Factor” TV debut. Frankly, it’s kind of pathetic for Cowell to be whining so publicly about this competitive programming strategy.
Cowell is smart enough to know that rival TV networks are not in the business of accommodating Spears’ “X Factor” TV debut, so he shouldn’t act so shocked about NBC making this scheduling decision. It’s really unnecessary and foolish for him to look like such a wimp by acting as if he can’t take a little competition. If he were really confident in “The X Factor’s” ability to beat “The Voice” in the U.S. TV ratings, then he wouldn’t be doing all of this complaining about “The Voice.” Suck it up and move on. Ultimately, viewers will decide which show they like more.
Here are some of the comments that Spears and Cowell have been making in recent TV interviews, all of which aired on September 10, 2012:
On “Access Hollywood”:
Spears theorized why people doubted that she would be a good “X Factor” judge: “I think maybe the whole element of me doing something different than I haven’t done before. They’ve always seen me in the light of being on the stage and never behind the scenes.”
Well, she’s not a very good “X Factor” judge. And apparently, Spears wants people to forget that she did that train wreck of a reality show in 2005: “Britney and Kevin: Chaotic.”
She then denied ever walking out on “X Factor” auditions, even though thousands of people saw her do it and there were several news reports that said she did. Spears said of her walkouts: “Me and Demi went up and got up for lunch … It was Demi’s idea!”
Cowell also tried to cover up the walkouts by saying: “After you’ve done five auditions, you feel like you’ve run a marathon. We take a little five-minute break and then come back.”
What Spears and Cowell forgot to mention is that Spears did not come back for those sessions when she walked out of the show. The other three judges continued to judge contestants without her during those sessions. That is a walkout, not “taking a break.” If it was just “a little five-minute break,” they would have waited for Spears. They knew she wasn’t coming back, so they continued without her. The audience and the contestants were not told why Spears walked out, because the real reason was probably too embarrassing for Spears and the show.
When Spears was asked how she felt about “The Voice” and “The X Factor” being on at the same time, she replied sarcastically: “Ecstatic. I’m elated.” She added blankly as if she were reciting a rehearsed answer: “I do find they’re both really interesting shows. They both captivate on the same things. But in all honesty, I do feel like they’re two totally different shows. You can’t really compare the two.”
Again, this statement is a contradiction of what Cowell has been complaining to the media about “The Voice,” since he has said in several interviews that he thinks “The Voice” is a poor imitation of “The X Factor.” In particular, Cowell has blasted “The Voice” for “ripping off” the idea of having the judges also act as mentors to the contestants.
Spears denied Cowell’s claim that she’s a “mean” judge who is hard to be please. “I’m not hard to please. I’m a very happy, honest judge,” she insisted to “Access Hollywood.”
She also said that she has not talked to longtime rival Christina Aguilera (who is a coach on “The Voice” U.S.) about what it’s like to be a judge on a TV talent show. No surprise there. That’s one thing Spears said that’s definitely believable.
When Spears (who is engaged to former entertainment agent Jason Trawick) was asked how her busy “X Factor” schedule will affect her wedding plans, Spears stammered and said, “One step at a time, you know what I mean?”
Cowell interjected, “I’m happy to have the wedding on the show. I’ll pay for it.”
Spears chirped, “That would be really interesting. A great after-party. Elton John will perform.”
Another contradiction: Cowell admitted that Spears walked out of auditions during her first day on the job as an “X Factor” judge. He said, “Every person [“X Factor” judge], within the first couple of hours is sitting there thinking, ‘What am I doing on this show?”
Spears added, “I have a regular anxiety like anybody would, just nervous anxiety.”
Someone should tell Spears that panic attacks are not “regular anxiety” because she looks like an idiot when she tries to make it sound like panic attacks are “regular anxiety” that anybody would have.
Cowell commented on a tabloid report that he had a physical breakdown in June 2012 that led to him missing “X Factor” auditions in Kansas, Missouri: “That’s news to me! I got to a point where everything got a little bit too much and I did shut my phones off for six weeks. I didn’t turn them on and I loved it.”
Spears commented on “The Voice” and Aguilera: “She’s a good friend of mine. I love her to death, but I feel like it’s two totally different shows. It’s like you can’t even compare the two.”
“Entertainment Tonight” did a totally useless, puff piece interview that revealed nothing new.
And the interview that E! Entertainment Television did with Cowell and Spears wasn’t much better.
Cowell and Spears are set for TV interviews on the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on September 11, 2012 (syndicated; check local listings), and on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on September 12, 2012.
In addition, the four “X Factor” U.S. judges will be doing red-carpet interviews and a sit-down Q&A at the show’s Season 2 premiere event in Los Angeles on September 11, 2012.
Expect to hear more contradictions and exaggerations about Spears in these interviews.
This PR strategy of covering up and contradicting the truth about Spears will backfire because TV viewers lose respect for the people who lie to them. Viewers will abandon a show in droves if they are let down by exaggerations, hype and high expectations from the stars and/or creators of the show.
Lovato will come out of this mess just fine because, unlike Spears, she is honest with the public about her flaws and psychiatric issues. And she doesn’t pathetically blame what she does on the show on another “X Factor” judge.