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August 29, 2014

'The X Factor' Auditions: L.A. Reid is 'Mean,' Simon Cowell tells Audience to Behave Badly

by Catherine Lawson, posted May 9th 2011 7:40AM
Antonio 'L.A.' ReidWith the 11th-hour confirmation of Paula Abdul as the fourth judge, 'X Factor' auditions were able to get underway over the weekend. And how. Fans got to see new Brit additions Cheryl Cole and Steve Jones in action, Paula Abdul showed up three hours late, Simon Cowell named the audience "the fifth judge," and one judge showed his nasty side.

Simon Cowell is used to being "the mean one" on 'American Idol,' but now it seems as though record label exec and Grammy-winning producer L.A. Reid is going to give him a run for his money. According to EW.com, Reid chose a direct approach when he introduced himself to the audience: "I'm not the Randy of the panel. I ... judge talent honestly. I'm brutally honest."

Cowell deputized the audience as "the fifth judge" and told them, "Basically you're here to tell us who you like. You can be as badly behaved as you want, actually. The whole reason for doing this is I trust you guys for being able to judge this process. There's $5 million at stake."

Reid exercised his brutal honesty when he trampled on the dreams of one aspiring singer, a 52-year-old mom who mangled Bette Midler's 'Wind Beneath My Wings' before trying Martina McBride's 'Independence Day.' Reid asked her, "When was the last time you performed? Eighteen years ago? Whatever made you stop then, you should've stuck with that decision." The audience agreed, reacting to her performance with booing and yells of "Next!"

By contrast, Cowell -- who'd posed outside for photographers with new judge Abdul -- seemed in rare sympathetic mode, telling the woman, "It's very brave, and I don't mean this disrespectfully, but you're someone who should be singing at home."

Enthusiastic, loud audience participation has been a hallmark of the U.K. version of 'The X Factor,' with crowds jeering and booing acts they don't like. Even Judge Geri Halliwell was booed off-stage at one set of auditions in Scotland.

However, it seems that U.S. producers aren't as keen as Cowell on the opinions of "the fifth judge." The Hollywood Reporter says that producers asked audience members not to boo, because, according to the person in charge of warming up the audience, they "want to temper negativity on the show." Whether they'll succeed, given that meanness and negativity has served the original version so well, remains to be seen.

'The X Factor' debuts on FOX this fall.

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i hate la reid i wish he went away

November 12 2011 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kate Hunt

LA REID IS THE BIGEST RACIST HE HATE ON SIMON COWELL WE DON LIKE LA REID HE IS NOT HONEST MAN AS HE SAID SIMON COWELL MADE LA REID FAMOUS WE DIDNT KNOW EVEN BEFORE HWO IS LA REID

July 11 2011 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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