Monday 13 February 5:42 p.m.
SIMON COWELL was doubly devastated upon hearing news
of WHITNEY HOUSTON's death on Saturday as he had hoped to hire her for America's THE X
Whitney was found dead in her hotel room in Los
Angeles, just two days before Cowell was due to host a meeting to discuss
giving her a job on the reality TV show.
recently axed Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger from the judging panel, has
revealed he heard rumours Whitney would be interested in joining the upcoming
second series and he had scheduled talks on Monday with network bosses at Fox.
He tells CNN's
Piers Morgan, "The rumours that had got back to us... and that's often what
happens when people want to be on these shows, you know, somebody tells someone
to get the word out, it's normally a sign that they are interested... 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 actually going to be Whitney Houston.
no idea genuinely whether she really was that interested or whether she would
have (signed up)... 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."
took the opportunity to pay tribute to the late star, admitting he feels
"absolutely devastated" by her sudden death.
"Whitney - ever since I've been doing this job, particularly doing talent
shows over the last 10 years - (was) the number one singer anyone ever wanted
to emulate, if they really wanted to be a superstar, it was always Whitney. We
would hear Whitney songs over and over again. She was the benchmark, she truly
"You're going to remember
where you were when you heard the news. It's that significant... I am
absolutely devastated by this news. I am so sad for her. She was one of the
greatest superstars of all time, one of the greatest voices in our life time
we're likely ever to hear. To hear this news, it really, really, really upset