Simon Cowell is launching another reality TV show in the UK despite the controversy surrounding Gabrielle Union’s firing from America’s Got Talent and the “hostile” work environment that Cowell was allegedly part of. Cowell and Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger have teamed up for The X Factor: The Band, so they can find the world’s next One Direction, Little Mix, or Fifth Harmony.
According to The Mirror, Cowell and his fellow judges on the original X Factor have discovered artists who have sold more than 400 million records globally. Back in 2010, Cowell and Scherzinger decided to put five singers together who auditioned as solo artists to form the group One Direction, and Kelly Rowland did the same thing the following year with Little Mix.
It seems to have appeared from nowhere but it starts tonight! https://t.co/E5623HtAzD
— What's On NE (@whatsonne) December 9, 2019
In 2012, Cowell and judges L.A. Reid, Demi Lovato, and Britney Spears formed Fifth Harmony with five solo artists who competed on the American version of The X Factor.
For the new show, singers will be auditioning in Cowell’s office, and both Cowell and Scherzinger will select who will go forward. During the audition process, X Factor winner Leona Lewis will show up to help the judges, as well as Brit Award winner Ella Eyre, and producer Naughty Boy.
Dermot O’Leary is the host of the show that will move from Cowell’s office for the first audition to an audition in front of an audience of millions. At that point, the judges will create a girl band and a boy band, and those groups will compete against each other in a live finale. The winner will receive a record contract.
“Simon and the show have discovered some of the biggest pop groups in recent music history,” said O’Leary. “One Direction, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix – they’re all stars and have sold millions of records. In previous years, you’ve seen the judges put individual singers in a group – usually with their decision making and reasoning off camera, but this time people will get to see the process take place.”
— GWP DIGITAL (@DigitalGwp) December 9, 2019
All of this is taking place at the same time that Cowell has found himself in hot water after AGT fired Union after just one season. According to Variety, Union complained about a toxic work environment that included racist jokes and remarks, as well as Cowell smoking cigarettes on set.
Union recently met with NBC, Fremantle, and Cowell’s company Syco, and she said that the meetings have been productive. Insiders say that a big part of the discussion at NBC was about Cowell’s “acerbic behavior” and “overlording.”
“The ball is in NBC’s court to see if they can get Cowell to agree to make some changes to the way things are done on the show,” revealed a source.
The X Factor: The Band premieres December 9th on ITV.