Simon Cowell is looking forward to throwing Khloe Kardashian into the live TV fire when she co-hosts “The X Factor” for the first time on Wednesday night as the competition show enters its first live rounds of Season 2.
“She’s gonna have nerves of steel when she goes in there tomorrow,” Simon said on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday.
“On live TV, things do go wrong,” he added. “I kind of like to see the unpredictable and I quite like seeing people under pressure and see how they deal with it. You don’t want robots, you want human beings.”
Simon said Khloe, who is co-hosting with Mario Lopez, is ready to prove her naysayers wrong.
“She’s really looking forward to doing this,” he said. “[She] wants to prove a point.”
The Brit said he expects Khloe to bring her big personality to the program, something he felt was lacking last season when Welshman Steve Jones hosted the show.
“They’re there to have opinions and I think… it was lacking last season,” Simon said, not mentioning Steve by name. “The host, he didn’t seem to have an opinion on any of the performances and I think it’s important with hosts, that they are allowed to pitch in, as well as the judges, and if they disagree with the judges, they’re entitled to say something.”
Earlier in the season, it was judge Britney Spears who fans were wondering about, and Simon said he believes she’s stepped up to the plate and proved herself as a judge – at least, so far.
“I think she’s been a lot better than everybody thought. She’s very engaged. I was with her yesterday and she’s very, very into her contestants. She thinks she can win the competition,” he said. “I don’t know what she’s gonna be like on a live show, because we haven’t done one yet… But I think she’s excited about the shows. But she has been, I think, a very, very good judge.”
Simon also said he is working to get Britney to perform on the finale of “The X Factor.”
“I’m gonna push as much as possible for her to do something on the final [episode] and I think she’ll probably do it,” he added.
While the judges and the hosts are – so far – the stars of “The X Factor,” the FOX reality show is ultimately a singing competition and Simon said the contestants will impress when they hit the stage for America’s vote.
“I think people are gonna get blown away by the talent this year,” he noted.
But Simon doesn’t expect everyone’s teams to do well.
“I think Demi’s got a good category, but I’m not sure she’s got a winner,” he said of the pop star’s Young Adults team.
As for L.A. Reid, who mentors the Over 25 contestants, Simon said the record exec has “no chance whatsoever.”
It’s Britney, who Simon said, has the strongest category – the Teens.
“Everybody, in a way, wanted that category… [They’re] super, super talented this year,” Simon (who is overseeing the Groups on the show) said. “Britney, she got them and she was absolutely thrilled. From what I hear… she’s doing a pretty good job. We’ll find out tomorrow whether that’s true or not, because it’s her responsibility to choose the songs, give them confidence.”
“The X Factor” airs Wednesday night 8-10:07 PM ET/PT on FOX.
-- Jolie Lash