The X Factor: Simon Cowell Calls Boot Camp Exit Of Jeffrey Gutt 'A Mistake,' Talks Jillian Jensen's Elimination

Simon Cowell has one regret about “The X Factor” Season 2 – letting soulful-voiced rocker Jeffrey Gutt go during the show’s Boot Camp.

The judge of the FOX reality competition, who is handling the Groups this time around, admitted they shouldn’t have let the singer go when a reporter asked (on a Tuesday conference call with journalists) if he thought any of the judges made a bad decision by sending someone home during the Judges’ Homes round.

“I think one guy we probably made a mistake on — and we lost him at Boot Camp — was Jeffrey Gutt and I think he would have been a much better older contestant than some of the ones [we’ve] chosen,” Simon admitted. “That was probably the biggest mistake we’ve made.”

The singer had originally auditioned for the show by performing “Hallelujah,” a clip of which, posted on YouTube has netted more than 1.2 million views. (Click HERE to watch)

Jeffrey was cut during the Boot Camp round alongside a host of memorable contestants, including Sophie Tweed-Simons (daughter of KISS rocker Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed), and Freddie Combs, the pastor who auditioned in his wheelchair.

Simon also addressed Demi Lovato eliminating Jillian Jensen during the Judges’ Homes round, and he said while the two women bonded over their bullying stories, he has respect for Demi’s decision.

“I know people were concerned about losing Jillian, but… I think I know why she was replaced by somebody else, because it was all getting a little bit too gloomy, and you’ve gotta choose people who can be entertainers,” Simon said. “I kind of admire Demi for making that decision because she really liked her as a person, but she just went with her gut instinct.”

“The X Factor” kicks off its live roundsWednesday night at 8 PM on FOX.

-- Jolie Lash

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