Simon Cowell talks 'Talent'
By April MacIntyre Sep 6, 2008, 1:06 GMT
08/26/2008 - Simon Cowell - American Idol Introduces Their New Fourth Judge Kara DioGuardi at American Idol NYC Tryouts on August 26, 2008 - Chelsea Piers - New York City, NY, USA © Janet Mayer / PR Photos
Simon Cowell's been around, and he knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to fame-seeking wanna-bes, whether on "American Idol," "The X-Factor" or the NBC hit, "America's Got Talent."
Te NBC show features Cowell in the wings as an executive producer, and he has shaped a troika of colorful judges, Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and "The Hoff" David Hasselhoff, who make the reality series a fun watch. Aided by their "Jiminy Cricket" host, the affable Jerry Springer, the show takes a wide variety of acts and gives them their moment in the sun to sizzle or slink away.
Monsters and Critics caught up recently with Simon about his latest reality hit show.
When did you first cross paths with David Hasselhoff and think, I want to be in business with him?
Simon Cowell: Well I met David years ago when he was signed to be in G as a recording artist and he, at that point, was selling millions and millions of records in Germany. And I met him then and I really liked him.
I made the decision to hire David when he came on the final of American Idol. I think it was three years ago because one of the contestants -- who wasnít very good -- had sung a David Hasselhoff song and we arranged for David to meet this guy on the live final.
And I saw the reception David got when he walked into the Kodak Theater. And at that point, I thought Iíve got to use David as a judge on one of our shows because heís larger than life and heís unpredictable, very emotional and funny.
And thereís only one David Hasselhoff.
Right, he doesnít censor himself.
Simon Cowell: I adore him.
How did you know that he and Piers would have this great chemistry, and how they would play off each other? Was it a crap shoot or did you kind of know going in that these two were going to be great together with Sharon as a buffer?
Simon Cowell: Well I knew both of them. Iíve known Piers about as long as Iíve known David. And between the two of them, they have two of the largest egos Iíve ever seen in my life.
So I thought putting these two together would be great fun. And thatís exactly what youíve got. Youíve got two people, you know, trying to be better than the other one.
I think it makes for interesting TV, and theyíre different people in a lot of senses. Itís like actually having people around for dinner at your house. Youíve got to get the right chemistry. Itís casting.
I think David - Iíve seen a huge improvement in David as a judge this year. Heís got more confidence now and I think heís really, really good - very, very important to this show.
I also love Jerry and what I love about him, is that he genuinely likes people. That is Jerryís biggest strength. He really does like people and he root for them.
I think that comes over, his sincerity and heís got kind of a unique warmth. I think heís brilliant on the show