Original X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne is back on the show that made her a household name!
The new series of The X Factor will see pop sensation Nicole Scherzinger, chart maestro Louis Walsh and The X Factor creator and music mogul Simon Cowell all reunited on the judging panel.
Sharon has been revealing why she returned to the show, and whether her and Simon are really friends again.
How does it feel to be back on the show?
It feels really right to be back at this time, it feels good. Simon said he wanted the show to be back to the way it was, small audition rooms, he wanted everyone to have fun.
Listen, we’re all competitive with one another because we all want to win, nobody wants to sit there the last few weeks with no one in your category, but at the same time, we’re not so badly competitive. We want to take it seriously but at the same time enjoy what we’re doing and have fun on camera and off air too.
Did you have any reservations about coming back?
I didn’t have any reservations about doing the show but just about coming back to England and whether people really wanted me here or not. It was like, is it right for me to come back because it’s been a long time since I have really spent any length of time here? I just wondered whether it’s really right, whether I am wanted by the public, not by Simon or the network, but by the public.
You’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Simon, how are you two getting
It’s just fantastic, it’s been really great. It’s been better than I thought it would have ever been, really. It’s been 13 years, that’s a long time since the beginning of this show. It’s great to see how we’ve all changed, but changed for the better.
How has Simon changed since you last worked with him on the show?
For me he’s back to the Simon who laughs a lot. He’s got a very naughty sense of humour, he’s so funny. He’s letting that side come through, he’s not so uptight about everything. You know, I get it, he’s got huge responsibilities, it’s his show, his production company, everything, so he’s got huge responsibilities. But I think because we’re 13 years down the line, he’s much more relaxed about it, which is nice, for him and for us!
Can fans still expect you two to fight though?
Yeah of course, because I am older than him! I can tell him what to do, he can’t take that off others, you know he’s had some gorgeous women on the panel but no one has been in that position where they are older and can say, ‘No!’. He accepts it from me.
Is part of the success of this panel that you’re all not afraid to stand up to Simon?
I think so, you’ve got the three of us back together and then Nicole, she’s always been a friend of mine. I had her at my Judge’s House years ago. So she’s been a friend for years, Simon’s worked with her in America, Louis’ worked with her, so she’s an old friend to everyone. It really works.
Do you think there are some global stars on the show this year?
There are a couple of girls and one guy, they are really phenomenal. It’s very exciting. I’m not going to say which category I want because I know I’ll end up with the groups and I can’t have groups. I couldn’t cope, it’s too much, I’m too old for all those people, I can only deal with three or four! I couldn’t remember everyone’s name, I’d be overwhelmed.
You are not giving up your work in the US while you’re on The X Factor so how are you going to juggle both commitments?
I’m going to leave LA on Thursday, I get in Friday and will go straight to the studio, be there Saturday and Sunday, then Monday morning I film with the contestants and Monday afternoon I fly home. It honestly doesn’t worry me, I’m kind of a traveller anyway, I’m always travelling somewhere. It’s just that this trip is a long trip, but I can handle it.
That’s bound to lead to criticism that you’re not around for your acts as much as the other judges, what do you say to that?
It’s all about Skype, everything’s on Skype these days. You might as well be in the
room with them, so it’s not like they can’t sing for me or show me their routine or
something they don’t like. It’s very simple.
What do you make of the music industry at the moment?
It’s so terribly different, but I think you will always have your classic artists who break through. That person who’s a great entertainer, great singer, great dancer, got great stage presence. Acts like Bruno Mars because he does it all, to me he’s like Michael Jackson, he’s amazing.
So you’ll always have that talent that comes through, like Adele. They are not the sort of artists who are the current taste of the day, they have longevity with their careers, they’ll be making albums in 15 or 20 years, if they still want to. A lot of the music today is very disposable.
You’re not going to hear it in 10 years time. Of course you have your classic bands like Coldplay who are the best of British, and Muse who are brilliant. They are stand out bands from England which are great.
Why do you think Simon’s so good at spotting new talent?
He’s lucky in the position where he’s been doing it in America and over here, he sees so much coming through, so much talent day in, day out, comes past him. He’s got that eye for knowing what the public want at that time.
Do you think you would have had the career that you have had if you were starting out now?
Probably because I am kind of ballsy, I would still have been that ballsy person, where it’s like, ‘I’ll show you! I don’t give up, I’ll keep knocking on that door’. I’ve been blessed that I have worked with some incredible artists, true artists who are
great writers with great talent.
I’m only on their coat tails, I’m only as good as the artist. You work for them and I have been blessed to work with really incredible, talented people.
The X Factor returns on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August at 8pm on ITV.