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Interview with Kelly Rowland of "X Factor" on
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.
FBC PUBLICITY: THE X FACTOR Conference Call
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 Foxflash.com 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
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
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
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
M. Angermiller: Do you think that the groupís category is
going to be as strong as it was last year or what do you
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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