Cowell wants new hosts Kardashian and Lopez to speak their minds on ‘The X Factor’
Khloe Kardashian speaks her mind and that’s exactly why Simon Cowell wanted her to be the new co-host of “The X Factor.”
Kardashian, along with “Extra” host Mario Lopez, will take over the reigns from Welsh host Steve Jones, who was let go after the U.S. show’s inaugural season.
“(Khloe) certainly (spoke her mind) the first time I met her but I encourage that, I like that. (The hosts) are there to have opinions and I think that’s what was lacking last season,” says Cowell, the show’s creator, during a recent conference call.
“(Jones) didn’t seem to have an opinion on any of the performances and I think it’s important with hosts, that they’re allowed to pitch in as well as the judges and if they disagree with the judges, they’re entitled to say something.”
The new hosts will make their debut on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV Two when the Top 16 perform live for the first time.
Cowell adds that a host’s role should also be that of a fan, who is entitled to have favourite contestants and stick up for them if they feel they’re being treated unfairly.
“Otherwise anyone can come in and read out voting information.”
The 28-year-old “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star is new at hosting -- and not everyone is as confident as Cowell that she can pull it off.
“She’s had her doubters and I think she wants to prove anyone who doubted her that she’s capable of doing the job,” says Cowell.
The 53-year-old Brit adds that even though he doesn’t know Kardashian all that well yet, it’s evident to him that she has a fun personality and gets what her role as host is supposed to entail.
“I think she’s there to be a voice for the contestants and to have fun with it. When you want to go off script, go off script. I always think that’s more fun, rather than someone just reading off a teleprompter.”
Unlike hosting newbie Kardashian, Lopez, who is best known for his role as A.C. Slater on “Saved by the Bell,” has hosted “America’s Best Dance Crew” for the past seven seasons.
And even though Cowell had previously said he didn’t want a host with too much experience, he says the network thought it was too risky to put two people on a show who hadn’t hosted before.
“What they felt was that Mario, he’s a really professional, safe pair of hands and Khloe, certainly in her first season, would need someone around her who’s had a lot of experience.”
Cowell says it’s possible the pair will split up the hosting duties, in particular on elimination nights, where one host might be backstage with the contestants while the other stays on stage.
But he says he does want to keep them together as much as possible throughout the show to provide support for the contestants, as well as each other.
“I think it will make each host braver to know they’ve got someone to back them up as well if they want to (disagree) with us.”
“Seeing them together, it was the right decision,” adds Cowell. “They do seem to have a good chemistry.”
In addition to Kardashian and Lopez, another big change this year has been the arrival of new judges Demi Lovato and Britney Spears, who replaced Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul at the beginning of the second season. Returning judges L.A. Reid and Cowell round out the panel.
Watch the Top 16 perform live for the first time Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV two. The top finalists will then be revealed Thursday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV two. You can also watch full episodes of “X Factor” on CTV.ca.
About Sheri Block
Sheri Block has been covering entertainment for CTV.ca since 2008. In addition to covering Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding in London, Sheri’s highlights have included going on tour with “Canadian Idol,” being a stand-in on “Canada’s Next Top Model” and meeting Colin Farrell at the Toronto International Film Festival.Follow her on Twitter!