With the "X Factor" finale around the corner, that means no more on-air squabbles to keep us entertained on Wednesday nights — at least until Jan. 18 comes around. So before we say goodbye, let’s take a look back at one of the more heated battles of its inaugural season: Simon Cowell vs. L.A. Reid.
Both run record companies and have discovered and nurtured international stars, which makes them worthy adversaries, even if they do sit on the same side of the table. Cue: Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and read on for five of their more memorable spats:
1. Who can forget the war of words over Drew Ryniewicz? Have your pick: When she sang Coldplay’s “Fix You,” Reid commented, "I don't know if that was a new song, or the same one from last week. He knocked the infamous “chair” performance of “Billie Jean” then accused her of singing old peoples’ music when she performed 19-year-old Demi Lovato’s hit, “Skyscraper.” Cowell lashed back, telling Reid: “I'm sick to death of your pointless, stupid criticism."
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2.Cowell hasn’t been shy about sharing his opinion ofMarcus Canty, calling out his performance of “A Song For You” as boring, stating plainly that he was “not jumping out of my chair.” Reid told his contestant not to let Cowell get “in your head.”
3.Although Reid finally gave Melanie Amaro props for her semifinals performance of “Feeling Good” ("I know why you're the only female left — because you're the greatest female to ever grace this stage," he told her), he’s called her performances “predictable” on several occasions. To wit: After her rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” Reid opined, “I didn’t find it that inventive.” He also called her performance of Whitney Houston’s “When You Believe” “safe.” Cowell’s reaction? A mix of bemusement and indignation wrapped up in a scowl.
4. Reid was never a supporter of Simone Battle’s, but after she sang “Just Be Good to Me” by the S.O.S. Band, he took the opportunity to go for Cowell’s throat. “Everything was right except your choice in contestant,” he said. “I still don’t get it. You must be really rich because clearly $5 million doesn’t mean much to you at all.”Story: Simon: 'X Factor' judges don't always do job properly
5. When Michael Buble doppelganger Philip Lomax performed the ill-advised “I’m a Believer,” Cowell was quick to call out Reid on his culpability: "It's like you're a race car driver, and L.A. put you through in a tractor,” Cowell mocked. “L.A.: On this guy, you one hundred percent failed."
Which judge do you think delivered the sharper barbs? Share your thoughts on the Facebook page for our TV blog, The Clicker.
Copyright 2012 The Hollywood Reporter