L.A. Reid Calls Judging X Factor the “Worst Thing I’ve Ever Done,” Says Show “Affected My Taste” in Music

L.A. Reid

L.A. ReidJeffrey Mayer/WireImage

Well, L.A. Reid has spoken. 

The veteran record executive recently revealed what he really thought of his two-season stint as a judge on The X Factor during a panel discussion at the annual music industry conference Midem in Cannes. As it turns out, he sure wasn’t a fan.  “It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done,” Reid sounded off via The Hollywood Reporter. “The first season, yes, I had a great time…But the second season I was fully engaged trying run a label, and it wasn’t fun anymore.” 

From 2011-2012, Reid appeared alongside Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and later Britney Spears and Demi Lovato on Fox’s popular singing competition. 

It doesn’t seem like bad blood between the judges and Reid contributed to his negative experience. Instead, extracurricular activities like launching Epic Records distracted the 59-year-old from being fully committed to The X Factor. 

Reid also said his tenure as a judge influenced his typically keen ear for picking chart-topping tunes. 

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X Factor, L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul, Simon CowellRay Mickshaw / FOX

“More importantly, it really affected my taste—it almost destroyed it,” the former Island Def Jam Music Group CEO shared. “It completely threw me off—by the way, I have a book coming out soon, and it’ll all be on my book. But yeah, what works for television isn’t necessarily the thing that works in the traditional journey of music, so I adjusted my taste for television. But the truth is, I lowered my bar—my bar was quite high, if I’m being honest, and as a result I didn’t have the same level of success. The bar is quite high again now, but it was damaging. I worked with Simon Cowell, who I love and have great respect for and he has great taste, but being around him for that long, I started to take on his taste, and I’m an amateur at having his taste—I’m good at my kind of taste.”

Of Cowell’s regrettable statement that The X Factor would be a failure if it didn’t garner more than 20 million viewers (it ended up only drawing an average of 12 million), Reid acknowledged that rival show The Voice “cleaned our clock.”

Since the bold statements, Reid has taken to Twitter to clear up any misunderstandings: “My comments at Midem were about me personally and were not meant to reflect on Simon Cowell, the X Factor, or its successes.” 

On to the next one, L.A.!

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