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January 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Simon Cowell has told the British tabloid The Sun that his overwhelming success with American Idol in the U.S. and Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor in the U.K. in 2010, left him “a bit too cocky.” When he decided to launch an American version of The X Factor, he predicted that it would attract at least 20 million viewers each week. He left the British shows ostensibly to focus his attention on the U.S. Factor (doing so also spared him from a weekly transatlantic commute). “We got a big wake-up call,” he told the Sun, when the U.S. X Factor failed even to garner the number of viewers that Fox had promised advertisers, forcing it to give them “make goods.” The British shows also declined in the ratings. “We went into 2011 thinking, ‘It’s all going to be easy’ and of course it wasn’t. It was the year my ego was put in check,” he said. In 2012, he said, he will be returning to the judging panel on Britain’s Got Talent and possibly the British X Factor as well. He also disclosed that he’s in talks with Virgin’s Richard Branson on bringing the winner of this year’s BGT along on the first commercial space flight planned for later this year. The winner, he noted, could be “the first singer or dog act, whatever, performing in space. … I think it’s great. Of course we have to think about the details, I mean, if you’re a juggler then we’ll need to make heavier balls.”