Cowell Believes American X Factor Is ‘Huge Gamble’

After splashing £2 million on a rather snazzy ad campaign for the Super Bowl and offering the winner a record deal worth up to £3 million, Simon Cowell has admitted that he is risking much by taking his pop roadshow to the US.

“Putting up that kind of prize money – it’s a massive, massive risk,” Cowell told The Sun. “But it’s also an incredible incentive and I think it rightly puts everybody under an enormous amount of pressure. So I’m nervous, but also confident it was the right thing to do.”

Cowell will be aware that the Australian version of the show has been largely unsuccessful (although Cowell himself did not participate) and despite spending much of his time in the USA in previous years, many American viewers still do not understand what kind of show X Factor is.

“The most important thing is, you’ve got to make a show which is different to what your competitors are doing,” said Cowell, who turned down a massive contract from the producers of American Pop Idol to branch out with his own show.

“It has to be well made, it has to be controversial and interesting. If the US show has some of the same qualities as what we have done in the UK, then I think it could do really, really well. But the important thing is – don’t take anything for granted.”

He also told the tabloid that the line-up, rumoured to include Cheryl Cole will be finalised in “three to four weeks”.

“The most important thing is the commitment and the expertise a person offers,” he said when asked about Cole’s presence. “It is really important to me that I’ve got people who I can trust in terms of their expertise and their gut feeling.

“It is also important to have people who are very competitive with each other… It also helps if they are cute,” he added as a thinly-veiled reference to the Geordie beauty.