Illustration for article titled L.A. Reid: iThe X Factor/i Was the Worst Thing

Antonino “L.A.” Reid, the man behind Rihanna, Meghan Trainor, Toni Braxton and the rebirths of Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and the latest puzzling reincarnation of Ciara, has admitted that joining The X Factor television talent show was a bad move.

“It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done,” Reid told The Hollywood Reporter over breakfast in Cannes, France. “The first season, yes, I had a great time, it was a little bit of a vacation. I’d been making music, working at running labels for a long time, and it was a little bit of, ‘Let me just have some fun.’ But the second season I was fully engaged trying run a label, and it wasn’t fun anymore.”


In 2011, Reid became a judge on Simon Cowell’s show alongside a blank-eyed Britney Spears. The Epic Records label head said judging talent for TV messed with his ear for music.

“And more importantly, it really affected my taste — it almost destroyed it,” he continued. “It completely threw me off — by the way, I have a book coming out soon, and it’ll all be on my book,” he interjected with a laugh. “But yeah, what works for television isn’t necessarily the thing that works in the traditional journey of music, so I adjusted my taste for television. But the truth is, I lowered my bar — my bar was quite high, if I’m being honest, and as a result I didn’t have the same level of success. The bar is quite high again now, but it was damaging. I worked with Simon Cowell, who I love and have great respect for and he has great taste, but being around him for that long, I started to take on his taste, and I’m an amateur at having his taste — I’m good at my kind of taste.”


He added that while 12 million people watched X Factor, The Voice was just a better show—you know for people who like that sort of thing, which isn’t L.A. Reid.

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