Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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‘X Factor’ musical is my second baby, Simon Cowell says

Simon Cowell already has one child, Eric. Now, he says, he’s a father twice over. “It feels like my second baby this year. I’m very proud of it.”

The X Factor creator was speaking, of course, at the red carpet opening night of £6 million (Dh36.5 million) X Factor musical I Can’t Sing! on Wednesday in London. There was no sign of Eric, but Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden and singer Sinitta, an ex-girlfriend of Cowell, were there to give support, as well as Lauren Silverman, the 36-year-old mum of Eric.

So, how does the show score?

Well, Cowell, it’s a maybe from me. This X Factor satire enthusiastically takes the mickey, and its unfettered Britishness is a welcome change from all the American musicals in the West End. But in places, the zany humour disappears up its own chimney and the staging is a mess.

The X Factor judges take a pasting. Louis Walsh (Ashley Knight) becomes a doddery old chap on a Zimmer frame. The Cheryl Cole character (Victoria Elliott) is a paunchy nymphomaniac whose brain is stuck on the word ‘pet’. She keeps saying about female contestants, ‘Aw, she’s like a little sister to me’.

Cowell, meanwhile, is much like the real thing: vain and viperous to the power of camp. His big number is a song called I’m Fabulous!. Cowell is co-producing the show. If someone else were putting up the money, perhaps the depiction of him would be a little less radiant.

The whole thing is as daft as a whistling gerbil and a hundred times more likeable than The Book Of Mormon. But at present, as Louis might say, I can only give it a 65 per cent yes.