Wannabe singing stars on “American Idol” have been known to cringe whenever judge Simon Cowell speaks.
Would-be magicians and other Las Vegas-style entertainers could soon become just as nervous if the acid-tongued Cowell finds a judge as outspoken as himself for a new talent competition.
Cowell will create a show for NBC that allows viewers to ultimately decide which performer is rewarded with a headline spot in a Las Vegas show, NBC announced Thursday.
(MSNBC is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC.)
Cowell will executive produce the program but leave the judging to someone else this time.
“Personally, I hope to find the next Siegfried and Roy,” Cowell said of the magicians who were a Las Vegas mainstay for decades.
The show, scheduled to debut in the summer, will feature hopeful future stars from across the country who audition before a panel of celebrity judges. The show has yet to be named.
NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said Cowell is a natural for the executive producer job.
“Simon has his finger on the pulse of pop culture,” he said in a statement.
Cowell has been a judge on Fox’s “American Idol” since its 2002 debut, and has become known for bluntly telling contestants what he thinks of their abilities.