It’s no secret that Simon Cowell has a reputation for being a bit of a bully. Although he has admittedly softened over the years, his penance for being rough on the auditioners of his various talent shows still stands. Nevertheless, as ScreenRant puts it, “his moments of kindness, though but a handful, have left an impact.”
Through the years, Cowell has been either a producer, a judge, or both on “Pop Idol,” “American Idol,” “Britain’s Got Talent, “The X Factor,” “American Inventor,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Celebrity Duets,” “Canada’s Got Talent” and more, according to IMDB.
A Crying Girl Meets a Sympathetic Producer
In 2012, Cowell was a judge and a producer on “The X-Factor.” That was the same year that the newest coach on “The Voice,” Camila Cabello, auditioned, and wound up being integrated by Cowell into the girl band, Fifth Harmony. But that life-changing event almost didn’t happen for the Latina pop star.
With season 22 of “The Voice” set to start airing on September 19, Cowell decided to share a story with Extra, on August 9th, about how the NBC show’s latest coach really got her big break.
Cowell told Extra, “When I was doing ‘X Factor’ here, [Cabello] wasn’t really supposed to audition and I happened to go backstage and I saw her crying, asked her why she was crying, and she said, it was too late for her to audition because she was a reserve, whatever that meant.”
Cowell continued, “I said to her, ‘Well, I’m one of the producers, you just got an audition,’ and you know, when those moments work…there’s been so many times luckily where I’ve been there at that moment where their career is going to go in a completely different direction. If we didn’t have those things happen, then there’d be no point making the shows.”
Cowell Continued to Help Cabello
It’s been 10 years since Cowell found Cabello crying backstage and changed her life. But Cabello almost didn’t proceed in the X-Factor competition. As Vogue explains, “Fifth Harmony is composed of five singers who all successfully auditioned as soloists on The X Factor, but failed to progress individually to the Judges’ Houses stage of the competition. They were later formed as a group at the end of bootcamp by Simon Cowell, thus qualifying for the ‘Groups’ category.”
If Cowell had not decided to bring the eliminated solo singers together as a group, that would have been the end of their time on “The X-Factor.” But Cowell has a knack for discovering and delivering superstars. The 62-year-old discussed with Extra how he not only remembers discovering Cabello, but also pop sensation, Harry Styles, a former member of the boy band, One Direction.
“I remember his audition like it was yesterday,” Cowell asserted. “He was very charming, he was very confident, he was very funny, and I liked him. I just thought there’s something… special about him… You never forget those moments and, like I said, genuinely if we weren’t making people’s careers successful, I would never be making these shows today.” Cowell continued, “That’s probably the thing I’m most proud of is that the shows we’ve made have gone on to do what we intended them to do, which is more than be a TV show.”
Both Styles and Cabello have since moved on from their groups to have very successful solo careers. Since Cabello left Fifth Harmony in 2016, she has had massive success. Her first two albums, “Camila,” and “Romance” went platinum. She has also had nine platinum singles, including “Havana,” according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Cabello will make her premiere appearance as a judge on “The Voice” on Monday, September 19th, at 8 p.m. ET.