That Time Simon Cowell Declared War On ‘The Voice’ … And ‘The Voice’ Won

Toni Anne Barson/FilmMagic, Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2019/FilmMagic for ACM

In 2012, Simon Cowell’s The X Factor USA was up against The Voice. Simon was pretty cocky about his show’s chances of besting the NBC singing competition.

In an interview with Extra at the time, Simon declared “war” on his competitors. But anyone who knows the history of The X Factor will know that The Voice emerged victorious.

Simon Cowell Says ‘X Factor’ Will Beat ‘The Voice’

In response to news that The Voice could go up against The X Factor, Simon Cowell said he was “up for that.” He added, “I think that’s crazy, but if that’s what they wanna do, then we have to be better.”

“You have to rethink things even more than we were a couple of weeks ago, because it’s a war,” he said. He said things were getting “really, really, really competitive” between talent shows, adding that it made things “more exciting.”

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Interviewer Terri Seymour (who happens to be Simon’s ex-girlfriend) asked what he thought of The Voice touting its coaches as Grammy winners. He disagreed that it put X Factor at a disadvantage, saying, “How many hit records have they made? How many artists have they discovered?”

He also pointed out that The X Factor was having the judges mentor the contestants before The Voice did the same thing. He said the talent show market was turning into a “bloodbath,” and he had to “make better shows” to put himself ahead.

When Was ‘The X Factor USA’ Canceled?

Later in 2012, when the news broke that The Voice would add a night of auditions on a Wednesday, competing with X Factor, Simon seemed to change his tune from the previous interview.

“This is a cynical, cold-hearted, unprofessional way of doing business,” he told TMZ, saying he believed he and NBC had a “gentleman’s agreement” not to air The Voice on the same night as his show.

RELATED: AMANDA HOLDEN SHARES CHEEKY BIRTHDAY GIFT SIMON COWELL GAVE HER

He also pitted X Factor judge Britney Spears against The Voice coach Christina Aguilera, saying, “Britney’s not going to appreciate the fact that Christina — who has been a bit of a rival — isn’t allowing Britney to have a night of her own.”

The Voice ended up beating X Factor in the ratings, with 10.7 million to 7.5 million viewers. The American version of The X Factor was canceled in 2013, after just three seasons. Meanwhile, The Voice is entering Season 20 this year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jill O'Rourke
Jill O'Rourke

Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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