Sting Slams Simon Cowell’s ‘X Factor’: ‘It Has Put Music Back Decades’
First Published: November 16, 2009 3:00 PM EST Credit: Getty Images
LONDON, U.K. -- Sting may be a multi-millionaire rocker, but he doesn’t think the world’s next musical superstars can be found on British television.
Sting slammed Simon Cowell’s British reality singing competition, “X Factor,” in a recent interview with London’s Evening Standard.
“I am sorry but none of those kids are going to go anywhere, and I say that sadly. They are humiliated when they get sent off,” the rocker ranted. “How appalling for a young person to feel that rejection. It is a soap opera which has nothing to do with music. In fact, it has put music back decades. Television is very cynical.”
Sting told the paper the show (which has actually produced an international sensation – Leona Lewis – whose debut album “Spirit” received three Grammy nominations), just looks for people that are like established artists.
“I tried to keep an open mind, but basically I was looking at televised karaoke where they conform to stereotypes. They are either Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston or [Irish boy band] Boyzone and are not encouraged to create any real unique signature or fingerprint. That cannot come from TV,” he said. “The ‘X Factor’ is a preposterous show and you have judges who have no recognizable talent apart from self-promotion, advising them what to wear and how to look. It is appalling.”
And on Saturday, Simon himself defended his program, which is rumored to be heading stateside in the coming years.
“Talking about these contestants being a bunch of karaoke no-hopers … I thought it was pompous,” he said, before inviting Sting to come on the show as a mentor,” Simon said, according to People.
He also extended an invitation for the British rocker to come on the show, but said on Sunday, “He hasn’t called yet. We’re waiting.”
Beyond Sting, however, “X Factor” made headlines for another reason over the weekend. While twins John & Edward were performing their mix of “Under Pressure” and “Ice Ice Baby,” electronic rocker Calvin Harris made a stage invasion wearing a fruit… Quite literally.
Calvin, who was there as part of an “X Factor” follow-up show, was booted out for his move, but Tweeted about being tossed.
“Was just thrown out of x factor for jumping onstage during Jedward with a pineapple on my head,” he wrote (Jedward is the nickname of the twin contestants).
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