"Do you guys feel like you ganged up on Simon's contestants specifically because you wanted to win this competition?" Jimmy Kimmel asked the other three judges on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (Weeknights, 12AM ET on ABC). All of them, of course, vehemently denied it.
L.A. Reid, who's mentoring the Boys category, brought in Rihanna to help him make the tough decision of which four boys to send home. But he made the challenge even harder for Phillip Lomax by tasking him to sing a Rihanna song in front of the woman herself.
"You've got to find somebody and you've gotta show how you can turn them into a real winner in the real world. Not within a competition, 'cuz someone's always going to win a show, somebody you can say ... we helped make this person into a star," he explained.
But as much as Cowell might wish it weren't so, it's about the contestants they manage to find. And while Chris Rene, who was 70 days sober and trying to turn his life around, blew everyone away with a heartfelt original performance, it was another contestant who perhaps best personified what makes 'The X Factor' different.
Last month, L.A. Reid surprised his staff and the industry as a whole when he announced his departure as chairman of Island Def Jam Records to secure a judging gig for the U.S. edition of Simon Cowell's reality singing competition 'The X Factor,' which is scheduled to premiere in September.
While he won't be working on forthcoming albums from Rihanna and Kanye West any longer, Reid will take his knack for handpicking luminaries and showcase it in front of millions on network television. Contestants on the show will surely demonstrate resolve and vigor in an effort to win him over, but he's looking for "crazy" as well.
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