Monday, December 6, 2010

Simon and Louis kiss and make up after yet another on-air row on the X Factor

By Andrea Magrath

Best buds: Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh appeared to have patched things up when they left the X Factor studios last night

Once again, last night's X Factor the show became more about the judges than the contestants.

Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh stole the spotlight by getting into yet another on-air argument while taking calls from viewers on ITV2 spin-off The Xtra Factor.

But the pair gave a clue that their constant bickering is all for a show, as they appeared later leaving the studios looking like the best of friends.

The trouble started within minutes of The Xtra Factor starting when Simon applauded a caller who suggested that Louis had jeopardised his contestant's Mary's chances by saying during Saturday night's show that Rebecca was his favourite contestant.

'Good point,' Simon, 51, said, clapping his hands in agreement.

'I meant Rebecca is my favourite contestant that I haven't mentored,' Louis explained, but Simon argued: 'But you didn't say that.'

'I think the caller's point was don't you feel slightly ashamed that you didn't back your own contestant?'

All for show: Despite constant squabbling on air, both have admitted they are great friends behind closed doors

'No. Rebecca and Mary are the best of friends. Simon, stop trying to stir it up.'

Louis, 58, also infuriated Simon by saying: 'The best people don't always win this competition - Look at JLS; They didn't win, they've had a massive, massive career, you know.

Simon reminded Louis that the 2008 winner, Alexandra Burke, was still in the building, and that she, too, had achieved enormous success.

Fight it out: Xtra Factor host Konnie Huq told them to 'get a room' to have it out when another show ended in arguments

The real slanging match came when Louis insisted that it does not matter who wins the series, as other finalists - such as Jedward and Olly Murs, as well as JLS - have gone on to succeed in the industry.

Simon did not take kindly to the remark at all.

His fury is not surprising, given that every vote made by the viewers means money in his pocket.

Cowell angrily retorted that of course it matters who wins, and said he was determined for One Direction to win, meaning fans had to vote.

Faux pas: Walsh infuriated his boss when he said that it didn't matter who won the competition

If looks could kill: Cowell, who makes millions from viewers' votes, did not take kindly to the remark

Simon's indignation was a little hypocritical, though, as only the night before he had tried to reassure Mary after a shaky performance of Barbra Streisand's The Way We Were.

He told her: 'Whatever happens you are going to sell records. You're not going back to the Tesco checkout, sweetheart.'

When an audience member asked Simon what advice he would give his contestants to win the competition, he joked, 'I'd tell them to stop going into Louis' dressing room.'

Walsh shot back: 'I help them Simon, I help them with song choices!'

He continued, 'Why is it always me you're picking on. I'm getting sick of it.'

Listen up: Cowell also called Louis out on his comment that Rebecca was his favourite contestant, not Mary

Xtra Factor host Konnie Huq attempted to make light of the argument, asking Simon, 'Are you just jealous of Louis?' to which Cowell replied, 'Yes, I am.'

The pair continued squabbling while Dannii Minogue attempted to answer another question from a caller. She gave up as their sparring became too distracting, saying, 'You two just need to battle it out.'

Konnie agreed, saying: 'Yes, just get a room.'

Perhaps they took their advice, because by the time the men left the studios it looked as though they had patched things up.

Simon, 51, had his arm around Louis' shoulders and they were laughing as they headed to their cars.

Stop picking on me: Louis got fed up with Simon's jibes, saying he was 'tired' of being bullied by Cowell

The pair have argued during almost every live show this season, with Cowell threatening to have Walsh 'removed from the building' at the end of October after he criticised several of the contestants.

On Saturday night Simon accused Louis of being 'lazy' for choosing Gloria Gaynor's Never Can Say Goodbye as Mary's first song.

'I would have liked something a little more contemporary,' he said. 'Louis, that was a tiny bit lazy on your part.

Earlier in the series Louis called Simon out on devoting all his energy to One Direction and leaving girl group Belle Amie to fend for themselves.

Teacher's pet: Unlike Louis, fellow judge Cheryl Cole manages to get away with plenty when it comes to Cowell

Simon denied the accusation by the girls themselves later agreed with Walsh's comments after they were booted from the show.

Despite the constant on-air bickering, both of the men have said the behind closed doors, they are actually the best of friends.

'Deep down, beyond work, Louis will be one of my best friends for ever,' the reality show supremo told the Mirror recently.

Walsh added: 'I love working with Simon. We're like two brothers. When Simon walks into the room I just start laughing.'


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