Simon Cowell Backs Out of Appearance on ‘X Factor Israel’
No reason was given.
Simon Cowell will not be making a personal appearance on the Israeli version of his hit talent search reality television program “The X Factor.” The Israeli version of hit American and British television reality show The X Factor is set to enter its fourth season on the country’s Reshet Channel 13, returning after a delay of more than two years caused by the Coronavirus crisis. The first new episode was supposed to be a very special edition with an appearance by Simon Cowell, the show’s creator.
At the time he was first scheduled to appear Cowell said that he could” barely wait to see what the Israelis have to offer.” Israel’s Reshet 13 issued a statement saying that “this is the first time Simon Cowell is coming to judge in a country outside of the U.S. and Great Britain. This is a huge achievement for Israel.”
The British entertainment mogul might have chosen to come to Israel because his father was Jewish. Simon Cowell made his mark in the music industry by being the brains behind hit acts like The Spice Girls. Then he got into the field of reality competition television shows in Britain with programs like Britain’s Got Talent.
So what happened?
Britain’s Jewish News cited a source close to Cowell saying, “Simon won’t be going to Israel after all. I know it has already been announced that he was one of the judges, but for a number of reasons he just can’t be there in Israel to film the show now. Of course he is bitterly disappointed – but it was a decision he had to take.”
— Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell) May 28, 2021
While no reason was given for the cancellation, speculation abounds. One theory is that this has to do with Simon Cowell’s having broken his back in a bicycle accident last year.
A spokesperson for Reshet, which produces “X Factor Israel,” told Variety that Cowell was canceling “for his own reasons.” But the publication cites sources at Reshet as saying that the decision to cancel was due to the recent fighting in Gaza. The sources said that Simon Cowell had “legitimate concerns.” But it did not reveal what, exactly, were the concerns. Is he scared that there could be a renewal of the fighting while he is in Israel and so he would be in personal jeopardy? Or is he concerned about appearances since so many of his fellow celebrities have condemned Israel for the recent fighting.
“X Factor Israel” will serve this year as the platform for selectin Israel’s representative in the 2021 Eurovision contest.