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Simon Cowell Calls NBC’s 'Voice' Rescheduling a 'Spoiling Tactic'

Simon Cowell didn’t mince words when responding to NBC’s decision to extend the season premiere of The Voice to three nights next week, putting it in direct competition with The X Factor on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

“It is a spoiling tactic. They don’t want people to see this first episode,” Cowell said on a conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon. “I hope and I pray that it backfires on them. I am pissed off about it because I believe in a gentlemen’s agreement.”

“It’s tactical,” he went on. “It’s very important to get this message out: They don’t want you to watch this show.”

As for suggestions that Voice producer Mark Burnett didn’t know the scheduling move would pit his show against X Factor, Cowell said “Give me a break.”

With both shows airing in the fall this season, X Factor is taking steps to differentiate itself from the competition by making the show more about the contestants – allowing the audience to see more of the audition process, how the contestants interact with each other and how they prepare for auditions.

“There’s a lot more reality than we’ve ever shown before,” Cowell said.

Another difference this season will be two hosts instead of one, which Cowell has said previously he wants to be a boy and a girl with no previous hosting experience. Cowell said they have screen-tested many candidates and hope to make a decision on the hosts in the next week, though they will not be part of the first three to four weeks of audition episodes.