'X Factor' Roundup: Simon Cowell's Baby Drama, Season 3 Format Changes and More
'X Factor' Roundup: Simon Cowell's Baby Drama, Season 3 Format Changes and More
Jeff Dodge
Jeff Dodge
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Simon Cowell has been in the news this week for all the wrong reasons -- we have the latest on what's going down with all his baby drama. Also in today's Roundup, Simon has revealed there will be some format changes for season 3 of The X Factor and responds to comments made from The Voice cast. And would he ever return to American Idol? Read on to find out.

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Simon Cowell's Baby Drama

Simon Cowell loves to cause drama on The X Factor, but it's his personal life that's at the center of some drama this time. It was reported this week that he's going to be a father. Who is he having this baby with? None other than the wife of one of his friends. Not only that, but Lauren Silverman is currently in the middle of a divorce with her husband, Andrew. Simon may have to testify in court since adultery is listed in the divorce papers as the reason for the split.

At Thursday's TCA Summer Press Tour, the judge/producer/executive was asked about the situation and replied, "I appreciate the question. Unfortunately, I have to keep this, for the moment, private. It's just one of those things."

Andrew Silverman released a statement: "My top priority is protecting my seven-year-old son while working on resolve all outstanding issues with my wife. Hopefully people can respect the interest of our child during this process." Lauren also put out her own statement, saying, "I am committed to sorting things out with Andrew as amicably as possible to ensure the well-being of our son. I would hope for some space and privacy in order to work through this."

There are all sorts of rumors and reports flying around saying things like Lauren is a "gold digger" who leaked the news so she can become famous. But we'll just have to wait for the court process to work itself out and hope it sheds better light on the situation.

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The X Factor Season 3 Format Changes

Enough about all this baby drama -- let's get to the real news: what changes are in store for season 3, besides the already announced new judges Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio?

Viewers have criticized X Factor for overdoing the performances with backup dancers, costumes, stage props, etc. And while those won't be going away completely, they will be refined in season 3, according to executive producer Rob Wade in an interview with ET. "We love production and don't want to lose production on the show," he said. "But it's something you'll see gradually build up over the weeks. This way, the contestants' journey to being -- and looking like -- a superstar will happen slowly over the weeks now."

But one of the biggest changes will be to the format. Between the audition and live show rounds, there's always Boot Camp and Judges' Homes. But Wade revealed that those middle rounds are no more, again in another bid to focus more on the contestants. "We love the audition shows and we love the live shows, but we felt like the middle bit took too long, so we're doing a brand new thing in the middle that will involve all the judges. ... It's about focusing on the contestants so we don't lose people in these huge eliminations." Boot Camp has always been considered a ripoff of Idol's Hollywood Week.

The X Factor upped the stakes when it debuted in the fall of 2011 by offering a $5 million grand prize, something never heard of for a show like this. But Cowell is scaling it back. He said at the TCA Tour, "We got to a point where it was almost too much. We want artists to be artists. The prize is now $1 million, and they still get a Sony recording contract." It was most likely too much to justify that amount with the low ratings.

One final change: the categories. Season 1's format was Boys, Girls, Groups and Over 30's, while season 2 was changed to Teens, Young Adults, Groups and Over 25s. When the show returns in the fall, it'll be back to the original configuration, except the Overs will stay at 25 instead of 30.

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Get a first look at The X Factor Season 3:



Would Simon Ever Return to American Idol?


With ratings as low as they have been, some have wondered if season 3 will be X Factor's last on the air. If that were to happen, would Simon ever consider returning to his old stomping groups -- American Idol -- the show that made him famous the world over? "I can't imagine either scenario," he admitted. "I can't. I just can't do that. No. Somebody once said, 'Know when to leave the fair.' Most importantly, I've always believed if you made great TV shows, people will watch them."

Maybe he should listen to his own words when you consider the ratings. There has been some talk online that if X Factor is cancelled and Idol sets an end date, then maybe the original trio of judges -- Simon, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson -- could return to the panel in order to give the show a proper and nostalgia-filled send-off.

Speaking of shows like Idol and The Voice, the hit NBC show has continually had to defend itself because it has yet to produce a star. And as recently as this week, coach Adam Levine said he doesn't think that's "the overall mission statement of the show."

Of course, Simon had something to say about that: "No show can survive without that. You're making a promise to the contestant that you're going to try to turn them into a real-life artist. Otherwise, it's a game show. This is the most serious thing I do. Not so much within the competition, but outside the competition. What we've proven over the years is [The X Factor UK] has had an incredible track record. It's why we make the show." He's hoping he can do the same for the American version, with Emblem3 and Fifth Harmony.

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(Image courtesy of WENN)

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