Friday, February 17, 2012

Simon Cowell Teases 'X Factor'/ 'Voice'/ 'Idol' Winner Sing-Off

Plus, buzz about Janet Jackson joining Cowell's 'X Factor' panel continues to swirl.
By John Mitchell

Simon Cowell
Photo: FOX

Simon Cowell is enjoying the rivalry between TV's top reality singing competitions and would "be up for" a sing-off featuring the winners of "The X Factor," "American Idol" and "The Voice."

The "X Factor" mentor/judge took to Twitter Friday morning (February 17) to reveal that he "loves the rivalry between all the music shows" and went on to suggest a mega-showdown between the winners of TV's three biggest reality singing competitions. "Maybe the winner of @TheXFactorUSA this yr should compete with winner of The Voice & Idol in a super final," Cowell tweeted. "Just a thought. I'd be up for it."

Though "The X Factor" did not perform as well as Cowell and Fox had hoped last fall — the notoriously cocky judge even admitted, "it's going to take a little longer than I thought" for the show to catch on in America — it has been renewed for a second season. When it returns later this year, however, viewers will see a very different panel, as judges/mentors Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, along with host Steve Jones, were let go in January.

Rumors over who will replace Abdul and Scherzinger have been rampant, with speculation naming everyone from Beyoncé to Mariah Carey as possible replacements. One star that Cowell did admit he was considering was the late Whitney Houston. He'd even scheduled a meeting with other "X Factor" execs to discuss the possibility of approaching the "I Will Always Love You" singer about joining the panel for this week, prior to the singer's death on Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

"We were ironically going to meet on Monday and, of course, one of the names we were going to be talking about in that meeting as a possible mentor on the new series of 'X Factor' was going to be Whitney Houston," he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Speculation has since turned to Janet Jackson, who during a Thursday interview on Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show tiptoed around the question. Cooper asked the singer, "You're not currently a judge on' The X Factor'?" and Jackson responded, "No, I am not. But that's all I really think I should say."

Jackson's hesitation has ignited rumors that the singer has been approached but that terms of her possible "X Factor" deal have not yet been reached.

Reports have also suggested that Pink ranks high on Cowell's "X Factor" wish list. Sources tell THR that Cowell feels she would be a strong addition because of her industry and artistic credibility as well as her well-known attitude. "She can take on Simon," the source says.

What do you think about a possible "X Factor"/ "Idol"/ "Voice" sing-off? Tell us in the comments.

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