Interview with Kelly Rowland of "X Factor" on FOX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Krista

Kelly Rowland

Interview with Kelly Rowland of "X Factor" on FOX 9/10/13

I was sick and not able to attend this call. I hope you can enjoy it, anyway! Make sure to tune in every week to the show. They have some fantastic singers and it's a hoot to watch the judges.

Final Transcript
September 10, 2013/10:15 p.m. PDT


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to THE X FACTORconference call. Now at this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. We will conduct a question and answer session. Todayís Q and A format: One question, one follow-up. You may re-queue at any point by pressing * then 1. Your hosting speaker, Joanna Wolff. Please go ahead.

J. Wolff: Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today for THE X FACTOR conference call with Kelly Rowland. As a reminder, THE X FACTORtwo- night premier begins tomorrow, September 11 at 8:00 p.m. and continues on Thursday, September 12 at 8:00 p.m. Please visit for the latest photos, video content, and show information.

Now I would like to turn the call over to the fabulous Kelly Rowland. Kelly, if you want to say ďHelloĒ and then we can begin taking questions.

K. Rowland: Hi. Good morning, everybody. I am so happy that you have joined the conference call, and I am excited to talk about it because I am excited about my new job.

Moderator: Please stand by for the first question. One moment please. First question is from the line of Kaitlyn Monteiro of OK MAGAZINE. Please go ahead.

K. Monteiro: Hi, Kelly, how are you?

K. Rowland: I am wonderful. Thank you for asking. How about yourself?

K. Monteiro: Iím good. Thank you. So, we were wondering, 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?

K. 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.

K. Monteiro: Were you surprised to hear that Simon would be changing diapers any time soon?

K. Rowland: I think that itís 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 itís going to be Simonís.

Moderator: Next question is from the line of Karen Moul, SCIFI VISION. Please go ahead.

K. Moul: Hi, Kelly. Thanks so much for making time to be with us today.

K. Rowland: Thank you for having me.

K. Moul: 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?

K. 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, ďHello, how are you?Ē and she was like, I donít know how much more natural this could be, but we just had a good time, to be honest. We had fun together. And itís not about the judges, this is about talent, and I think that is why I love the show so much, because weíre all focused on talent and finding great talent as well.

K. Moul: Weíve got three girls and Simon up there. Is that a sign of some girl power we are going to see in action this year?

K. Rowland: Iíve said it before, Iíll 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; itís hilarious, actually.

Moderator: Next question is from the line of Michele Angermiller, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

M. Angermiller: Hi, Kelly, great to talk to you today.

K. Rowland: Hi, you too. Thank you.

M. Angermiller: So , Simon, I donít know if you saw him on LENO the other night, he said that youíre horny.

K. Rowland: Did he really?

M. Angermiller: Yes, he did. He said that you are horny. He said that you are a naughty girl. Do you think weíre going get some eye candy with some of the contestants? Come on, fess up, what kind of guys are you getting?

K. Rowland: Oh, trust me, honey, when it comes to the bodies and the faces, I like to put everything together. Iím like, you know, under that shirt it looks like there is something there. Can you please show us? Iím just curious. I just want to see whatís there. Of course, I keep it on the panel and theyíre on the stage, and I keep it very professional, but, I mean, a girl is curious. Why not? The rest of the world is. So I just want to show the rest of the world what I am seeing too.

M. Angermiller: Do you think that the groupís category is going to be as strong as it was last year or what do you think?

K. 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. Itís going to be an incredible year. I think America will actually be surprised with how much talent we have in each group.

Moderator: Next question is from the line Jack Dodge, BUDDYTV.COM. Please go ahead.

J. Dodge: Hi, Kelly, how are you?

K. Rowland: Hello.

J. Dodge: 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?

K. 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 Iím a judge, because itís about seeing people grow and be better and become something wonderful, and being honest with them if you possibly donít see something either, but itís a tactful way of telling them to where youíre not just killing someoneís dream. We are not dream killers.

J. Dodge: Thatís great. You have had a lot of success in the entertainment industry over the years, from singing with Destinyís Child and also as a solo artist to acting and everything else. What advice would you give singers on shows like THE X FACTOR who want to be in your shoes someday?

K. Rowland: I would tell them to make sure that youíre doing it for the right reason. I feel like nowadays fame and television, like sometimes it can make everything look itís just so glamorous. But what I do admire about the contestants on the show and my experience from X Factor in the U.K. is these contestants have a week to be prepared, to be ready for interviews, to be camera ready, to get a makeover, to know the song, to know the placement on stage, to know a dance step. Thatís a lot. People are watching you each week and thatís a lot and youíre pushed a little bit faster to grow. I admire them taking this on because itís a lot of pressure, but you either rise to the occasion or fall. Sometimes theyíll fall because they didnít believe in themselves enough. I truly believe that sometimes as people we let ourselves get the best of us. I just hope the contestants know what a unique gift they have and that theyíre ready and excited and hungry and passionate enough to give it to the rest of the world.

Moderator: Next question is from Breanna Hare, CNN.COM. Please go ahead.

B. Hare: Hey, Kelly, how are you doing? I have so many questions for you, so Iím going to try to pick the most important, but while we are talking about the contestants and how important it is for them to know they have a unique gift, I wanted to get your opinion on the difficulty of creating a star with this kind of platform. Because itís not just THE X FACTOR, I think other shows, even AMERICAN IDOL being stalwart these days, theyíre having difficulty picking a star that will really get a lot of traction in the industry. So, have you guys talked about that as a judges panel? Do you, in particular, have any opinion on what it takes to handpick someone and groom them for todayís industry to really find someone who will hit?

K. Rowland: I think that is why Simon wanted to have mentors this year, well every year. That is why THE X FACTOR, of course, has mentors to be there to be constructive, to be honest, to give knowledge, and to help them grow. Coming into the music industry, even when I was a kid, one thing I learned is timing is everything. You being prepared is everything. Itís not necessarily all on the show, itís just as much as it is on the contestants. The real question is: Are they ready? Are they ready to put themselves out there? Are they ready to come forward? Are they ready to share their gift with everybody? Are they ready to push the fear aside and actually go out, yes, in front of millions of people and nail it every time? We are usually Ė Iíll say it again Ė we are usually our worst critic and it is so important, even as I watch a great friend of mine, Serena Williams, play tennis, and congratulations to her, she just of course won, but she set out, she was out there fighting for her shot, of course, again to win. You just have to want to win, and you got to be hungry enough and ready to just kill. You have to have an animal instinct in this industry, and just know that whatever it is, youíre going to get it; itís going to be yours.

B. Hare: As an artist, if I can sneak in just one follow up question, I would love to hear your opinion on this as well, you have such incredible success here and overseas, but you are beloved in U.K. and over in Europe and in the American market. When we are looking at a more mainstream demographic, you may not be as popular as some of the other pop stars we see today, unfairly, in my opinion, personally, but how do you view that landscape and what do you think is making the difference in terms of reception here versus overseas?

K. Rowland: I make music that I love. I have a fan base, and I think that music also continues to change, to be completely honest. You are allowed as an artist to be creative, and sometimes it catches and sometimes it doesnít. When it catches, you run with it. I continue to record as well. You just never know what happens. You have situations, even with Robin Thicke where nobody was really paying attention to Robin Thicke Ė as talented as this man is, plays so many instruments, writes music for everybody, he is so incredibly talented Ė he gets a hit and next thing you know heís on everybodyís lips and I just think that is the way music is right now. You just never know what happens. And, this man funded his video, his song. I think it is more of a different style in the way music is brought to the public and the way it becomes popular as well. When it hits it hits, man.

Moderator: Next question is Daedrian McNaughton, PREMIER GUIDE MIAMI. Please go ahead.

D. McNaughton: Thank you very much. The first question I have for you is 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?

K. 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 Iíve had, actually, in my career, because Iím working with a specific group and there I had the girls and Iím a part of their building process and that makes me happy. I feel like Iím actually giving back. Simon picked me because Iím smart and I am definitely up for the job.

D. McNaughton: Because of your career background, you have had your ups and downs, how do you think that has affected your style as a judge?

K. Rowland: Iím able to see certain things, to be honest. I donít know if I can necessarily put it into words, but all of my experiences actually have prepared me for this moment. And if anything where I feel like I may see a piece of myself or a bad habit or something in a contestant, Iíll be able to actually notice it and hopefully help them to move from there, to grow from there. Thatís why Iím here. Thatís why they call us mentors.

Moderator: Next question is from the line of Maja Lunager, METRO. Please go ahead.

M. Lunager: Hi, Kelly. If you had to say which is most important for you in a performer, is it charisma, talent, or stage performance? How would you characterize what you look for in a performer?

K. Rowland: To be honest, they are all important, but I think, above anything, people love to see passion, and I think that when it comes to performing, people just want to be entertained. If youíre not up there having fun, then how can anybody else whose watching you have fun? I think that the contestants have to know how incredible and unique they are and what kind of artist they are before they even get here, and hopefully, even if they donít know before they get here, they learn while theyíre here. We help them in that direction as well, as mentors.

M. Lunager: You say that what you are looking for is fun. Are you never afraid that you might overlook someoneís real talent in the hopes of adding fun to the show?

K. Rowland: I, actually, am completely honest with myself when it comes to talent. Iíve actually turned someone down because they had a wonderful look and they sounded awful. I am not going to do that to myself and to my integrity, I am not going to do that to the rest of the world. Iím not going to even do that to the person that is auditioning because it wonít be fair to them. I donít want them to just come into this competition thinking they can just get on by their looks; itís more than that. Itís your talent, itís your passion, itís your hunger, itís your dedication and I felt like they werenít there when it came to those components as well. I am very honest with them; Iím very honest with myself. I donít cut any corners.

Moderator: Next question is from the line of Tiffany Lane, SYNERGISTIC PRODUCTION. Please go ahead.

T. Lane: Hi, Kelly. How are you doing?

K. Rowland: Iím good, thank you. How about yourself?

T. Lane: Great, thank you. My question is the other night Simon was asked to describe all the other judges with a few words. Can you give one or two words describing each of the other judges?

K. Rowland: Yes. Letís see. Paulina is adorable and witty and so beautiful. Demi, you fall in love with her immediately. She is passionate. She has such a beautiful heart, and I love the way she leaves the contestants with something hopeful and something they can hold onto when they leave the audition, whether itís a yes or a no. Simon is very smart and I trust him. I think the rest of the world trusts him as well.

T. Lane: What is different for you being on THE X FACTOR here as opposed to X Factor U.K., other than just location-wise?

K. Rowland: Or accents. I think the difference, major, is Simon wasnít there when I did the U.K. version of the X Factor, and thatís really basically it to me. I think that with the U.S. we tend to be more well-rehearsed and we just want to be so perfect, and you have to admire that, but sometimes the raw talent that comes in from a U.K. pub or a London pub is actually even more intriguing and interesting. We had a kid that came in who had like actually the best of both and he is remarkable. Remarkable.

Moderator: Next question is from the line of Paullette Cohn, AMERICANPROFILE.COM. Please go ahead.

P. Cohn: Good morning, Kelly.

K. Rowland: Good morning.

P. Cohn: If something like THE X FACTOR had been around when you were starting your career back in the early days, how do you think you would have done on the show?

K. Rowland: It was. I was on ďStar Search,Ē and I got three and a quarter stars with my group that I was with at the time. We were called ďGirls Time.Ē It was myself and Beyonce and some friends that we went to school with, and we got on Star SearchĒ and we lost and I remember what that three and a quarter stars felt like. Once that red curtain closed we were like little sad puppy dogs, just bawling our little eyes out. We were so sad. When we got to the hotel, I remember our parents going ďWhat do you guys want to do? You want to go to Disney Land?Ē our eyes dried up so fast it wasnít funny. We were really just sad, but I truly believe that when itís your time, itís your time. When youíre prepared, you are ready for it. You really are.

P. Cohn: Thank you. Also, you have talked about the drive that you think is necessary to achieve success, but what do you actually think is the indefinable ďx-factorĒ that you look for in contestants?

K. Rowland: You just see it in peopleís eyes. You just see how bad they want it, you see how hard they are willing to work, and you have to admire that and you have to give them a shot. Thatís why I love the auditions, because you actually start the weeding out process of people who actually, of course, sound. You go by their feel, by their charisma is when theyíre talking to you, everything, how the audience takes to them. Youíre taking in all of that and youíre separating everybody. Youíre actually going through that weeding out process, and then you continue to go through that process to live shows and you see who everyone picks and you see who is willing to work the hardest.

Moderator: Next question is from the line of Lisa Steinberg, STARRY CONSTELLATION MAGAZINE. Please go ahead.

L. Steinberg: Hi, Kelly. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us.

K. Rowland: Thank you for having me.

L. Steinberg: I was wondering when you came on the show did Demi, Paulina, or Simon really give you any specific advice? Obviously, youíve done it with the U.K., but did they say here in this version, we are going to act this way or give you any advice towards the U.S. version of the show?

K. Rowland: No. I was just told to be honest and to be myself. I think Iím a pretty cool person, but above anything, I was just told to have fun. I have had fun. I am having a wonderful time.

L. Steinberg: What has the toughest part of judging been for you, whether itís been here in the U.S. or in the U.K.?

K. Rowland: The toughest part is when you have to say no to somebody or letting someone go. One thing that I had to remember in my personal journey in the music industry and coming up in the music industry was how many times I was told no. I was signed, I was dropped, I was signed, and I was put on a shelf. Itís so many things that are dynamic you get into in the music industry. I just remembered all of that and I wanted to put that forth in this opportunity in being a judge on THE X FACTOR.

Moderator: Next question is from the line of Karen Moul, SCIFI VISION. Please go ahead.

K. Moul: Hi, Kelly. Word leaking out from the set is that this season has some of the best talent yet on the show.

K. Rowland: It does. Totally. Iím sorry to cut you off, go ahead.

K. Moul: No, I was just going to ask you if that was true and if you could tell us a little about what we might see.

K. Rowland: It is the best talent. Some of itís shocking; some of itís new; some of its age. Thatís 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, theyíre young and theyíre ready. The talent is real. Itís so real and genuine when you listen to them. Whether itís 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 itís the slowest song ever your just so happy. Itís something that these contestants possess this year that is so magnetic and that is what I love most about being here.

K. Moul: Awesome. I canít wait to see it. Thanks.

Moderator: Next question is from David Tusing, GULF NEWS. Please go ahead.

D. Tusing: Hi, Kelly, good evening from Dubai.

K. Rowland: Wow, good evening in Dubai.

D. Tusing: I just wanted to ask you, obviously, you were in the U.K. version of X Factor, and you spoke about how difficult it is to let go. Are you still in touch with the girls that you mentored, whether itís Meisha B. or Janet?

K. Rowland: Meisha, yes. Meisha I talk too often. I am very proud of her. She is so talented and she is still doing her thing, I am very proud of her. Itís so crazy, because with Janet, I actually havenít gotten a chance to talk to her for a minute, but I talk to the rest of the girls, and I really wish I could talk to Sophie because I hope that she is not still in the pub but that she is still singing. She is so talented. I havenít been able to get in contact with her.

D. Tusing: Obviously, you were a judge the year Little Mix won and they have broken through around the world. What do you make of this Brit invasion, whether itís One Direction or Little Mix or The Wanted?

K. Rowland: I love it, to be honest. It doesnít matter where talent comes from as long as they are entertaining, and it makes it even better when after you hear their music you are able to fall in love with, I know me, I love a British accent. I actually put Little Mix together, so I am very proud of these ladies and I knew they would be something special from the moment I saw them together.

D. Tusing: Thank you.

Moderator: Our final questions will be from the line of Breanna Hare, CNN.COM. Please go ahead.

B. Hare: Hey, Kelly, itís me again. I just have one follow up question for you. Iím curious if you could tell us any teases about the two-part premier this week, if there are any special moments we should look for, any particular contestants that you fell in love with and that you think we should watch out for?

K. Rowland: I could say who I love, but the first, to be honest, the first night of the premier, of course the two night premier, it happens too fast. When we were able to look at it, I remember me, Demi, and Paul were sitting on the couch and weíre looking at it and weíre like, ďAh, thatís it, thatís it.Ē It feels like it happens so fast. I will say that, but Lillie is incredible, oh my gosh, Restless Road is incredible, Ellona, Khaya Cohen is incredible, Josh Levi Ö I am going to name everybody so this isnít fair, but we have so much talent this year. Itís so much better.

B. Hare: Thank you.

K. Rowland: No problem.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that will conclude THE X FACTOR conference call. We thank you for joining while using AT&T Executive Teleconference. You may now disconnect. Speakers, please stand by.

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