Looking for friendly competition? Keep on moving!
The rivalry between The X Factor and The Voice is heating up after Simon Cowell blasted the NBC reality show for moving to Wednesday nights, the same timeslot as his Fox hit, telling TMZ that the two shows had a "gentlemen's agreement" not to air on the same night. He also calls NBC out for now pitting Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera's fanbases against each other, saying, "Britney's not going to appreciate the fact that Christina—who has been a bit of a rival—isn't allowing Britney to have a night of her own."
Of course, The Voice's executive producer Mark Burnett wasn't going to take these insults lying down.
Burnett fired back at Cowell's claims to TMZ, saying, "There was never ever a meeting or a discussion of what my show was up against. The fact is…it shows you where our minds are at and where others are because it literally never crossed my mind."
He then added, "This is someone trying to read into something that doesn't exist," before delivering this jab: "I'm just glad we're on Simon's mind." Consider the gauntlet thrown!
Still, it doesn't end there as Cowell and new judge Demi Lovato talked with reporters today about the new reality TV feud, with Lovato saying "I think the whole situation is a little unfair" of NBC's scheduling move.
"I've seen the first show and I think it's sensational," Cowell says of The X Factor's season two premiere. "The girls do a great job, the contestants are great, the show looks different to anything else we've ever made before. I think this is the reason why NBC decided to put The Voice against us; it's a spoiling tactic. It's very simple: They don't want people to see this first episode. I think it's mean-spirited and I hope and I pray that it backfires on them because this is one of the best shows we've ever made. I am pissed off about it…you have to rely that the viewers will make the right selection."
Cowell also criticizes The Voice's decision to increase the numberof episodes aired each week, saying, "I think three nights in a row is too much. I think there's a lot of interest rightly so in our show because of Britney, Demi, the way the show is going to look. We're going to see what happens, but I've learned don't make any predictions." When asked what he thought of the comments Aguilera reportedly made that questioned what Spears' could bring to the table as a judge, Cowell says, "Tell her to watch the show. She might learn something." Ouch!
"Give me a break, like I don't know when my show's going out next week," Cowell says of Burnett's comment that he didn't know The Voice would be going up against The X Factor. "Like I said, it's tactical. It's very important to get this message out: they don't want you to watch this show, and I think it's going to backfire."
Your move, Burnett. Your move.
The X Factor season two premieres Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. on Fox.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)