Simon Cowell Talks ‘X Factor’, Competitors ‘Idol’ & ‘The Voice,’ Plus Rebecca Black

Besides music producer L.A. Reid, there’s two more judges spots left to be announced for the U.S. edition of The X Factor, and the only hint Simon Cowell gives New York Magazine‘s Vulture blog is that neither spot will be taken by Mariah Carey. “She was literally going to be, like, eight months pregnant, and that wasn’t going to work.” Mr. Meanie also discusses leaving Idol, gives his thoughts on ABC’s The Voice, and offers some good advice to Rebecca Black. Highlights from his interview below.

On ABC adding yet another reality singing competition to the schedule: “You can’t stop somebody from doing this. If they want to do it, good luck to them. Every time I hear something like this, I put the phone down and I try harder. I’ve been in this situation for years in England. We’ve had so much competition; everyone’s tried to have a pop at us. Our shows have remained popular because they are good shows, but they also rely on one thing and one thing only: the contestants.”

On leaving American Idol on good terms: “When I said recently in an interview that Idol got better without me, I meant it in a positive way. I was not happy being on the show anymore. In hindsight, I should’ve waited until the end to announce I was leaving. The timing was off. People got suspicious and it was a weird atmosphere, and it didn’t work for anyone, really.”

On this season’s crop of contestants on Idol: “The only person I can remember is the young kid with the deep voice, the country singer. [Ed. note: That would be Dubya look-a-like Scotty McCreery.] But I’d be lying if I said that I knew enough about any of the contestants to have an opinion.”On the advice he would give Rebecca Black: “Very simple: Don’t listen to anyone over the age of 18. I’m being deadly serious. Whatever she’s done has worked. Whether you like her or not, she’s the most talked-about artist in America right now. Nobody over the age of 18 should understand her or like her. So she should just do it her way.”

Read the whole interview over at Vulture.