As it turns out, one of the rumors surrounding potential judges for the X Factor was true. Following the news of Whitney Houston‘s world-shaking death, Simon Cowell called CNN’s Piers Morgan on Saturday and confirmed that Houston was in consideration for the Fox reality competition.
“The rumors that had got back to us…and that’s often what happens when people want to be on these shows, somebody tells someone to get the word out, it’s normally a sign that they are interested,” Cowell said.
The Hollywood Reporter
originally reported that Houston had expressed interest in taking a seat at the judges’ table and was already actively campaigning for the gig.
Cowell, who was admittedly “absolutely devastated” by Houston’s death, said he had a meeting scheduled a day after the Grammys to discuss potential replacements for host Steve Jones and departed judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger—one of whom was the “Greatest Love of All” chanteuse.
“We were ironically going to meet on Monday and of course, one of the names we were going to be talking about in that meeting as a possible mentor on the new series of X Factor was going to be Whitney Houston,” Cowell said.
“Given the choice, I would have liked to have taken her under my wing as well, because she would have been the ultimate, ultimate mentor to any contestant coming on the show.”
Cowell also stated that the sixth-time Grammy winner, who died Saturday afternoon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, was “one of the greatest voices in our time.”