Latin Grammys 2018

Simon Cowell: NBC Pitting 'The Voice' vs. 'X Factor' Is 'Mean Spirited'

'X Factor' Premiere Ratings Drop 25 Percent, 'The Voice' Tops

With the second season premiere of his Fox series "The X Factor" just a week away, Simon Cowell had a lot to say about the show's competition, "The Voice." NBC's reality competition series will be airing at the same time as "X Factor" next Wednesday, a decision which Cowell says was "mean spirited" and "tactical."

Earlier this week, NBC announced that it would be adding a third episode to the premiere week of "The Voice," directly matching the show against the premiere episode of "X Factor" on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

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According to Cowell, longtime "American Idol" judge and creator of the Fox singing competition, NBC's decision was a calculated one, made because the first episode of "X Factor" is "sensational." "It's a spoiling tactic, and it's very simple: They don't want people to see this first episode," Cowell explained in a Thursday (Sept. 6) call with reporters.

"I think it's mean spirited and I hope and I pray that it backfires on them because this is one of the best shows we've ever made and I am pissed off about it," Cowell continued. "But you have to rely that the viewers will make the right selection. I think three nights in a row is too much" With its revised schedule, "The Voice" will air premiere episodes on Sept. 10, 11 and 12.

Added fellow "X Factor" judge Demi Lovato, "I think the whole situation is a little unfair and I don't know why they would do that, but ultimately it's about finding a superstar and giving people the chance to win a huge prize of $5 million."

Thursday morning, TMZ reported that "Voice" creator Mark Burnett didn't even know his show had been moved to Wednesday, but that the "X Factor" clash "never crossed [his] mind."

To that, Simon responded, "Give me a break. Like I don't know when my show is going out next week. Like I said, it's tactical."

Although the "X Factor" premiere is fast approaching, Cowell says that the producers have still not hired a host to replace season one personality Steve Jones, who was dropped from the series, along with judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, earlier this year. Because there is not going to be a host in the audition rounds, Cowell says they still have "three or four" weeks to find someone, although "I think we're going to make a decision in the next seven days."

He will likely select two hosts, "a boy and a girl who don't have any hosting experience" because "that might make it more interesting." Cowell says it's just too boring, "like Ryan [Seacrest] demonstrated," for only one host to be speaking throughout the entire show.

Lovato and Cowell will be joined at the judges' table by Britney Spears and season one judge L.A. Reid. Lovato says viewers will be surprised by Spears' performance on the show, because "People haven't really gotten to see her personality over the past few years."

Added Cowell, "Britney is a fascinating person. She's surprisingly quite mean. In the past we've had judges who had difficulty saying 'no,' and Britney can't say 'no' quickly enough."

There will be a few changes coming to "X Factor's" second season, Cowell teased, with a deeper look at the audition process, "a lot more backstage stuff" and additional interaction between contestants. "There's an awful lot of bitchiness that happens behind the scenes that you don't normally get to see," he laughed.

Although he made no promises, Cowell also joked that he wants to see a duet between Demi and Britney at some point during the season. "I would love that!" 20-year-old Lovato exclaimed.