The X Factor whittled its contestant pool down to a dozen during its first live show tonight. One contestant hoping to impress the judges was Simone Battle, who'd advanced previously thanks to Simon Cowell and against the wishes of co-judge LA Reid. So when Battle's performance fell flat tonight, Reid wasted no time taking Cowell to task, setting off a little pissing match that you can see for yourself above.
Tonight's X Factor saw a fracturing of the judging panel, with Simon Cowell and LA Reid teaming up to butt heads with Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger. The ladies' rejection of the more attractive female contestants led Cowell to accuse them of judging bias and, in an attempt to strike back, tell one unremarkable hopeful that she reminded him of Scherzinger. As you'll see in this video, he probably now wishes he hadn't done so.
Ahead of Wednesday's premiere of The X Factor, Simon Cowell is in full promotional mode. Tonight's PR pit stop brought Cowell to The Tonight Show, where he shared some brutally honest opinions of his three X Factor co-judges to Jay Leno.
Suze Orman turns 58 today. Billionaire financier Pete Peterson is turning 83. Teen Vogue editor Amy Astley is 42. Post columnist Andrea Peyser is turning 50. Journalist Bill Moyers is 75. Mark Wahlberg is turning 38. Pete Wentz is 30. Author Chuck Klosterman is 37. Comedian Jeff Garlin is 46. Laurie Anderson, the musician and wife of Lou Reed, is 62. Actor Ron Livingston is turning 42. Art advisor Kim Heirston turns 46. Housing Works president Charles King is 50. Kristin Gore, the author and daughter of Al Gore, turns 32. Movie producer Kathleen Kennedy is 56. And Kenny G celebrates his 53rd birthday today. Weekend birthdays below:
- Guests at a Bridgehampton benefit thrown by Gwyneth Paltrow were upset they couldn't mingle with their A-list host on Saturday night, since she was sequestered inside the house and off-limits to partygoers. But the real reason she wasn't mingling with the crowd may have been because she ditched the party early to attend Mariah Carey's wedding bash at LA Reid's house. [R&M, Page Six, Fox411]
(1) The 9th annual Art For Life Benefit took place on Saturday at Russell Simmons' East Hampton house. Despite tickets not selling out as fast as usual, the event played host to Aretha Franklin, Christy Turlington, Lorraine Bracco, Soledad O'Brien, David Paterson, Diddy, Padma Lakshmi, Brett Ratner, LA Reid, the cast of Real Housewives of New York, Al Roker, Kelly Bensimon, Alina Cho, Simon de Pury, and Porschla Coleman—whose break up with Simmons, judging by their behavior, is either incredibly amicable or no longer in effect. [PMc]
· Ex-Variety editor Ramin Zahid says he was fired by Editor-in-Chief Peter Bart because he was gay. [Page Six]
· Angie Everhart is actually 33 and not 28, as previously reported. [Page Six]
· Tommy Mottola spotted dining with Harvey Weinstein at the Four Seasons, possibly hinting at a future collaboration. [Page Six]
· Britney Spears on why she walked out of a Sundance screening 45 minutes into the movie, raising Robert Redford's ire: "The official line is we had our schedules mixed up, so we had to leave, but I didn't like the movie...Sundance is weird. The movies are weirdyou actually have to think about them when you watch them." [Page Six]
· Arista Records honcho L.A. Reid is at war with American Idol producer Simon Fuller over Annie Lennox, who Fuller manages. Insiders say Fuller is a formidable match for Reid. [Page Six]
· Oasis singer Noel Gallagher on Christina Aguilera: "She looks like some fucking tart from fucking Newcastle." On the Beatles: "I've said it to them, you were so fucking lucky you were first because if Oasis performed in 1962...I'd be bigger than all of you." [Page Six]
· Mimi Hare and Clare Naylor's book, The Second Assistant, a roman-a-clef about being an assistant in Hollywood was expected to find a publisher by last night; Liz Hurley's new squeeze, Arun Nayar, is still married; and Luke Wilson doesn't want to talk to reporters because "I just want to be abstract." [NY Daily News]