Kelly Rowland, best known as one of the singers from Destiny’s Child, has moved on to the small screen as the latest judge to join The X Factor. In an exclusive interview, Rowland talks about her experience on the show, what Simone is like in real life, and what fans should look forward to this season.
Q: there has been kind of some great news going around with The X Factor judges. So what kind of father do you think Simon is going to be and why?
Rowland: I think Simon is going to be a pretty cool dad. I feel like he has guided so many people into their careers, and he has been like a father figure to several groups that he has put together, and I think that it is going to actually be a breeze for him.
Q: Were you surprised to hear that Simon would be changing diapers any time soon?
Rowland: I think that it’s so crazy. Everybody has what they say or whatever, and I think that above anything, I think life happens. Life happens and this is part of life, and a new life will be here, and it just so happens it’s going to be Simon’s.
Q: At the premier, it looked like all of the judges were getting along really well. Can you tell us a little bit about the chemistry with the panel this year?
Rowland: To be honest, we were really just having fun. I remember the first day on the set, and all the cameras were, of course, all on us, and I remember Demi walked up to me and she goes, “Hello, how are you?” and she was like, I don’t know how much more natural this could be, but we just had a good time, to be honest. We had fun together. And it’s not about the judges, this is about talent, and I think that is why I love the show so much, because we’re all focused on talent and finding great talent as well.
Q: We’ve got three girls and Simon up there. Is that a sign of some girl power we are going to see in action this year?
Rowland: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. It is the year of the woman. Women rule, men are just, live there. Like Simon, looking like a sad puppy dog, with three women on the panel is just sad; it’s hilarious, actually.
Q: Do you think that the group’s category is going to be as strong as it was last year or what do you think?
Rowland: The truth is that all of the categories are super strong. I am so happy for all of us too because we are all happy with our categories and we are all very passionate about our categories too. It’s going to be an incredible year. I think America will actually be surprised with how much talent we have in each group.
Q: I want to know, do you have a particular judging style? Do you have a hard time saying no to contestants or is it easy like it is with Simon?
Rowland: No, I am constructive when it comes to criticism. I am firm, but I like to be honest, and I remember coming up in the music industry and I ran into people who had some harsh things to say, but I grew more from people who actually were constructive and gave details about how I can grow. I paid attention to those people and wanted to apply that to the way I’m a judge, because it’s about seeing people grow and be better and become something wonderful, and being honest with them if you possibly don’t see something either, but it’s a tactful way of telling them to where you’re not just killing someone’s dream. We are not dream killers.
Q: Why do you think Simon Cowell picked you and what was that conversation like when you were told you were going to be a judge?
Rowland: I am very smart, and I have been in the music industry for a very long time and I have a lot of knowledge to give, and that I want to give to these contestants. I love finding new talent, to be completely honest, and my opportunity that I got to do X Factor U.K. was just incredible. I will never forget it. It was one of the best moments I’ve had, actually, in my career, because I’m working with a specific group and there I had the girls and I’m a part of their building process and that makes me happy. I feel like I’m actually giving back. Simon picked me because I’m smart and I am definitely up for the job.
Q: Word leaking out from the set is that this season has some of the best talent yet on the show.
Rowland: It is the best talent. Some of it’s shocking; some of it’s new; some of its age. That’s what really got us. I remember the first two cities we went to, we were looking at all these thirteen and fourteen-year-old kids who were so on it, like their voices, their stage presence, how passionate they were, but the ages are just so, they’re young and they’re ready. The talent is real. It’s so real and genuine when you listen to them. Whether it’s making the hair on the back of your neck stand up to moving you with emotion or just making you feel something inside where you just feel like dancing. Even if it’s the slowest song ever your just so happy. It’s something that these contestants possess this year that is so magnetic and that is what I love most about being here
Catch Kelly Rowland on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on FOX.
Photo Courtesy of Scott Kirkland/Picture Group for FOX
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