The live show portion of “The X Factor” is finally upon us. Judge L.A. Reid talks to the press about the process so far, including that he would have made different choices with the girls’ group than what Simon did.
On the Top 17 and how the eliminations will go:
“Well, I’m not exactly sure what that process is. I don’t know if it means that we will end up cutting two in the first episode. I’m not exactly sure. This is for me sort of my first time at bat, my first barbecue, so I’m learning it as I go, but I was very happy though that Simon did go back and rethink Melanie from Miami. I thought she was really fantastic in the auditions. So, however it works out, I think so far it’s working out for the better.”
On the ratings not living up to Simon’s prediction of 20 million viewers:
“We have an average of over 12 million viewers averaging, so it’s a very successful show, and whether we hit twenty or not–you know, I’d like to hit thirty. I mean, I’d like to sweep it, but that’s not really what is important to me. That’s a statement that Simon put out there and I think it was an aspirational statement and I hope that we can at some point get there, but I’m not disappointed that we’re not there.”
On making different choices from Simon:
“Yes, I would have probably made–I won’t trash-talk his decisions, but I have a very different taste than Simon, so I may have made some very different choices, but Simon is incredible and the most experienced guy at doing what we’re doing here with ‘The X Factor’ and with talent competition on television. So, I’m actually here to learn and watch and see exactly what Simon does, but my taste is different, so the answer is yes; I would have made some different choices.”
On choosing songs for the contestants:
“Well, we spend a considerable amount of time going through material and trying to find things that we think are sometimes a fit for the contestant, and sometimes a stretch for the contestant, because in the traditional world of records, when artists are selecting material or when we as record executives are selecting material for them, it may not always be their comfort zone and there are times when we’ve forced them to stretch that they’ve actually had their biggest successes. We spend a considerable amount of time going through material and trying different versions of it, different variations on it. What we try not to do is to just simply do karaoke. Right? But, we do spend a considerable amount of time on material. I love music and I love song, so the most difficult thing is I have about 30,000 songs that I go through to try to find–it’s insane. I make myself crazy.”
On whether shows like this compared to signing talent the traditional way:
“Every time we sign a talent in the traditional world, it’s a roll of the dice . And if there were a crystal ball, then this would be a very simple job, but the fact is, it’s trial and error and it will continue to be trial and error. And yes, we will make every effort to turn some of these contestants into global stars, but no differently than our traditional world of records it’s going to be a crap shoot and we’ll see how it comes out. I’m hopeful. I do see talent that I think has the ability to go the distance, but it’s going to ultimately be up to the public as it always is.”
“The X Factor” kicks off the live shows Tuesday night (Oct. 25) with a special two-and-a-half hour live episode.