Cowell ponders U.K. singer's effect on 'America'
Get ready for reality TV’s “Susan Boyle effect.”
As the unlikely “Britain’s Got Talent” contestant makes her way through the pop culture zeitgeist, exec producer Simon Cowell told reporters Friday that the frenzy over Boyle may open the door for less-photogenic people to at least show up for talent auditions.
That includes NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” which may be poised to benefit from all the attention its U.K. sister has received in recent days.
“I’m thinking we should hold maybe two more open auditions off the back of Susan Boyle,” Cowell said. “Because the awareness is higher. (You’ll now get) somebody who says, ‘I think I am talented, and I don’t think people will judge me for the way I look.’ ”
NBC said there were no plans to expand the audition process beyond what’s already planned, but a spokesman noted that there are still three more auditions to be held for the show.
“America’s Got Talent” judge Piers Morgan, who sat next to Cowell at the “Britain’s Got Talent” judges table when Boyle showed up and wowed them, said the never-been-kissed singer has now “laid down the challenge” for the U.S. show.
“This is going to be good for ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ” Morgan said. “Does America have its own Susan Boyle, talent that comes out of nowhere that can stun the audience?”
Cowell said it may be hard for Boyle to live up to the hype, which he admitted he has tired of.
“I’m not interested in this anymore, the gimmicks,” he said. “She has four weeks to prepare. She has got to sing better than before, with all that expectation for her. It could all go horribly wrong now, because there are so many other distractions.”
Boyle could show up on “America’s Got Talent” as a guest, Cowell said — but first she has to win the British show.
“I would say to anyone who won the British show that we guarantee them a spot on the American show,” he said.
As for ongoing speculation over Cowell’s future as a judge on “American Idol,” Cowell on Friday once again told reporters that perhaps he’s ready to depart the show when his contract is up at the end of next year’s edition. “Maybe it’s time for a change,” he mused. Nonetheless, Cowell said some of his remarks have been blown out of proportion.
Some have suggested that Cowell may want to depart in order to launch his “X Factor” format in the U.S. But for now, “We haven’t even sat down yet (to discuss his future on the show),” he said. “At one point we’ll have a proper conversation.”