L.A. Reid, the CEO of Epic Records who briefly served as judge on the American version of The X-Factor say that the show is “the worst thing I’ve ever done.” That’s a big claim coming from the man who made Avril Lavigne a household name. Despite that glaring original sin, Reid is widely regarded as having one of the best ears in pop music, a talent he said was threatened by his time on the show. According to Reid, he “adjusted my taste for television… I lowered my bar — my bar was quite high, if I’m being honest, and as a result I didn’t have the same level of success. The bar is quite high again now, but it was damaging.”
Reid feels that by apeing the taste of reality TV moguls like Simon Cowell, he diminished the secret to his own success — the exacting ear of a record executive who has helped to mentor prolific talents like Usher, Pink, and Mariah Carey. Reid, though, isn’t the only celebrity to publicly bash their own reality gigs recently.
One of Reid’s most successful protégés, alpha diva Mariah Carey, also did a stint judging a high profile reality singing competition. Carey’s most notable contribution to long running franchise American Idol was a feud with fellow judge Nicki Minaj, which famously escalated from insults to threats between the two powerful personalities. In a recent interview, Carey, who was paid $18 million for her first season of Idol, described the experience as “It was like hell … going to work every day in hell with Satan.” Nothing dramatic about that.
British popstar Cheryl Cole is no stranger to reality competitions. Cole got her start on Britain’s seminal signing competition Popstars: The Rivals, which launched her hugely popular girl group Girls Aloud and later Cole’s own solo career. She’s one of the biggest stars in UK pop music but her charms didn’t translate quite so well to an American audience. Cole was cast as a judge on the first season of the American version of X-Factor by friend and mentor Simon Cowell, only to be unceremoniously dumped after filming the first round of auditions due to her heavy Geordie accent. After having put her career on hold to join the show Cole didn’t take the firing lying down. She fired off a text message to Cowell that read “”F**k you, F**k Fox, F**k the orange and purple outfit. F**k the big hair. F**k the UK X Factor. F**k you all. I hate you.” I assume she’s calmed down a bit after the show famously flopped.
The…ahem…”Forget” You singer said “forget you” to The Voice after three seasons citing fatigue with the production process. The show has been a huge career booster for celebrity coaches like Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, and it’s even reminded America that Christina Aguliera…excuse me, Xtina…is still around. CeeLeo apparently didn’t see the benefits and dropped out of the show after season three, stating “It very easily became a job, very very obligating…taxing and tiring.” Of course Green’s resignation came amid rumors that he was about to be fired for emotional outbursts on set and pending legal trouble, but either way it’s likely Green won’t remember the experience fondly.
It seems that only thing that Natalia killed with her turn on X-Factor New Zealand was her own career. The pop “star” was booted from the show after delivering a verbal lashing to a contestant who she felt was copying the style of her husband, Willy Moon. Her critique of the young singer was so vicious that fans launched a campaign to have Kills removed from the show, branding her a bully.
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