Ozzy Osbourne has shot down recent tabloid reports that he is going to become an “X Factor” U.K. judge. I asked him about it, and his comments are the first time that he has publicly spoken about this rumor.
At an April 25, 2011, press conference in New York City for his documentary movie “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” (which had its world premiere the night before at the Tribeca Film Festival), I asked Osbourne if he could say whether or not the rumor was true.
Osbourne replied: “I don’t think so. No, I’m not [going to be] on ‘The X Factor’ at all. That’s not my gig. It might be [for] my wife, but not me.”
(Click here to read the entire interview from the press conference.)
On April 18, 2011, The Sun newspaper tabloid published a story saying that Osbourne is in negotiations to replace “X Factor” U.K. judge Cheryl Cole. Although no official announcement about Cole has been made, several media outlets have reported that she is going to quit the show to become a judge on “The X Factor” U.S., which premieres on Fox in September 2011.
The Sun reported in an article written by Richard White:
Ozzy Osbourne is set to replace Cheryl Cole as a judge on The X Factor, The Sun can reveal. Producers are in serious talks to get the 62-year-old rock wild man on the panel — as it emerged that Cheryl is almost certain to get the judging job on the U.S. version.
Ozzy’s wife Sharon, 58, starred as a panelist for four series. A set source said: “Ozzy would be a controversial choice but he can really bring something different to the show. Sharon was a big hit and we think Ozzy can do well too.” It would be a bold move for producers, as the former Black Sabbath star has previously criticized the show.
He said: “It’s about killing music to make light entertainment. It should be about music and talent but it’s not.”
Sharon left in 2007 after four series and a string of rows with fellow judge Dannii Minogue.
“The X Factor” U.S. has two judges officially announced so far: executive producer Simon Cowell and former Island Def Jam Music Group chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid. The other two judges on the four-person panel will be women, says Cowell, and they are expected to be officially announced in April or May 2011.
As previously reported, ITV (which televises “The X Factor” U.K.) announced that Cowell will no longer be a weekly judge on “The X Factor” U.K., but he will continue to be involved with the show behind the scenes as an executive producer. There has been no announcement made on Cowell’s replacement, although tabloids have already put several celebrity names in the rumor mill. (Gary Barlow of singing group Take That is the most frequently mentioned as the person rumored to take Cowell’s former judging spot on the show.)
Even though Ozzy says that his wife, Sharon Osbourne, is better-suited to be an “X Factor” U.K. judge than he is (Sharon was a judge on the show from 2004 to 2007), his comment should not be misinterpreted to mean that she is returning to the show. It is highly unlikely that Sharon will go back to “The X Factor” U.K., because she is too busy co-hosting her Los Angeles-based daytime chat show “The Talk,” which is televised five days a week in the U.S. on CBS.
Sharon Osbourne will also continue to be a judge on “America’s Got Talent” (another talent contest executive produced by Cowell), which is televised in the U.S. on NBC during June through September.
Even if The Sun hadn’t reported the false rumor that Ozzy is in talks to be an “X Factor” judge, it is a rumor that is hard to believe, since he spends so much time touring, and it would be unrealistic that he would give up his regular touring schedule to commit to the time-consuming job of being a judge on “The X Factor.” There is also the matter of Ozzy’s notorious way of mumbling when he talks, which does not fit the job description of a TV judge who is supposed to be clear and articulate in speaking.
Like many tabloids, the Sun has a long history of publishing false rumors and stories that are later exposed as fabricated. The Sun’s track record in this area makes it a very unreliable source of information, especially when it has a story built around “unnamed sources.” But that didn’t stop several media outlets from picking up the story about Ozzy being an “X Factor” judge, and spreading the story as if it were true.
Ozzy has now made it clear that the story about him becoming an “X Factor” judge is absolutely not true, so consider this rumor dead and buried.