Britain’s Got Talent supremo Simon Cowell has admitted making more mistakes in handling some of the finalists in his talent shows.
His admissions come hot on the heels of saying that he made mistakes in his handling of Susan Boyle, saying he never expected her “to become a global phenomenon”.
“You can’t imagine how awful it was watching 10-year-old Hollie Steele start to cry as she struggled to remember the lines of her song,” he said, referring to the incident in the semi-final in which the pressure became too much for the young performer.
“I thought giving Hollie a second chance was the right thing to do.
“Yet I’ve had more complaints about Hollie being allowed to perform twice than anything else on the show. Isn’t that incredible? Sometimes, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
He also cited the case of 11-year-old street dancer Aidan Davis, who was also reduced to tears in the final of the show after Cowell said his performance was “lacklustre” compared to his dancing in the semi-final.
“In the heat of the moment I treated him as an adult, forgetting he was only an 11-year-old child with a dream. I apologised to him afterwards, but it didn’t make me feel any better about it,” he admitted.
However Cowell did not have such kind words for everybody, saying he found criticism from some former X Factor finalists “very very hurtful”.
“Steve Brookstein, winner of the first series, has been going round saying that the whole show is just a cynical money-making exercise,” Cowell revealed, “He is not a happy bunny, he never was. He is just a bitter man the public never warmed to.
“Steve proved to me that just because you have a winner, it does not always mean you have a star.”
He also claimed that series two runners-up Journey South, who were signed to his label, have complained of being treated unfairly.
“The way I see it, we put them in front of millions of people and gave them the opportunity to make some money.
“Anyone who is signed to my label is given a fair shot, but it’s not a guarantee of enduring riches. Sometimes you make a commercial decision not to continue a relationship with an artist.
“I’m just disappointed with them as human beings. I don’t mind being cast as the ‘bad guy’ but I do believe I am fair in business.”
“The simple fact is that for every Leona Lewis, Paul Potts or Will Young, there will be half-a-dozen contestants who still burn with jealousy and resentment.”