Move over Simon Cowell. The meanest singing competition judge on television has a little competition of his own in Britney Spears, one of two new judges joining the panel on Season 2 of “The X Factor,” premiering on Wednesday, Sept. 12 on Fox.
In a press conference on Thursday, Simon said one of the biggest surprises during the show’s multi-city auditions was how tough Brit was on the contestants.
“You know how if you buy a dog, you expect it to lick you and it turns out to bite you? It was a surprise,” said Simon. “She’s really very difficult to please.”
Simon said that when the other new judge, Demi Lovato, got booed by the audience the first time she voted no on a contestant, “I could see the look on her face, like, ‘I don’t want to do this show anymore.’”
Britney, however, “was kind of fearless,” said Simon. “She can’t say no quick enough on this show.”
But Demi said she saw another side of Britney. “The world hasn’t had a chance to see her personality over the last couple of years,” Lovato told reporters. Now on “The X Factor,” audiences have an “opportunity to see the light inside of her shine.”
Demi described Britney as “witty and funny and quirky.” She also said co-judge LA Reid was fun to work with: “So much funner [sic] than Simon.”
Don’t expect Simon to take Demi’s dig, though. Discussing his playful rapport with the former Disney star, Simon said, “I have a habit of working with annoying people.”
Simon also had some harsh words for the producers of “The Voice,” NBC’s reality singing competition, who made a last-minute decision to add a third night of auditions next week—thus going head to head with the Wednesday night premiere of “The X Factor.”
“I think the reason NBC decided to put ‘The Voice’ against us is a spoiling tactic,” said Simon. “I think it’s mean-spirited, and I hope and I pray that it backfires on them, because this is one of the best shows we’ve ever made. I’m pissed off about it.”
The second season of “The X Factor” premieres Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 8/7c on Fox.