*Simon Cowell called into CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” on Saturday evening to talk about the sudden passing of Whitney Houston — and also confirmed that he was considering Houston as an “X Factor” judge.
“The rumors that had got back to us … and that’s often what happens when people want to be on these shows, somebody tells someone to get the word out, it’s normally a sign that they are interested,” Cowell told Piers Morgan, suggesting that Houston could have expressed interest in joining the Fox series.
Show insiders told The Hollywood Reporter that Houston had indeed expressed interest in the potential gig and was actively campaigning for it. Cowell said that Houston’s name was among those discussed and conversations about potential additions were to take place the day after the Grammy Awards.
“We were ironically going to meet on Monday and of course, one of the names we were going to be talking about in that meeting as a possible mentor on the new series of ‘X Factor’ was going to be Whitney Houston,” he said.
Cowell added, “Given the choice, I would have liked to have taken her under my wing as well, because she would have been the ultimate, ultimate mentor to any contestant coming on the show.”
The former “American Idol” judge was upset by Houston’s sudden passing.
“I am absolutely devastated by this news,” Cowell said. “I am so sad for her. She was undoubtedly one of the greatest superstars of all time. One of the greatest voices in our time we’re likely ever to hear.”
On Friday, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Houston could be joining “X Factor” on the judges panel for its second season after host Steve Jones and judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger were ousted. Houston performed her single “Million Dollar Bill” on the U.K. version in October 2009.
Listen to Simon’s interview below.