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HOME > America's Got Talent > America's Got Talent 2

Sharon Osbourne: Simon Cowell convinced me not to quit 'Talent'


By Christopher Rocchio, 06/07/2007 

Apparently the friction between judges Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan displayed during Tuesday night's second-season premiere of America's Got Talent wasn't just for the show's cameras.

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"[I've] never sat down with Piers, just the two of us.  Nor would I," Osbourne told TV Guide about her icy relationship with Morgan in the magazine's June 11 issue.  "I talk to him about what we are doing, but in between contestants there is no communication.  It is not that we don't get along, it's that we just don't have any sort of relationship.  I wouldn't hang out with him or go have a cup of tea."

The riff between the two apparently stems from America's Got Talent 2's Dallas auditions, which aired during the show's two-hour season premiere, and a cheerleading routine performed by Breeze, 9-year-old girl from Carson City, NV.  After Breeze performed, Morgan criticized her mother for pushing her daughter into something he thought she didn't want to do -- a comment that didn't sit too well with Osbourne, who accused her fellow judge of putting the young girl "on trial." 

"It was a day where there was one young contestant after another," she told TV Guide.  "[Morgan] has a definite dislike for children or younger artists.  It was appalling behavior.  I just couldn't take the way he was talking to them.  And it was not just the children, he was being particularly appalling to everybody that day.  I just had it.  I was ready to scream."

NBC's cameras caught Osbourne ripping up her audition information paperwork and declaring, "I can't take this anymore" before storming off the stage.  Cameras followed her backstage, where she said she was removing her make-up and "going home" with seemingly no intention of returning to her duties.

And according to Osbourne, quitting the show was exactly what she planned to do, at least until Simon Cowell, who created America's Got Talent and works alongside Osbourne as a judge on his American Idol-like British The X-Factor reality competition series, stepped in.

"The director got Simon on the phone," she told TV Guide.  "Simon is always the voice of reason.  He had his entrepreneur's hat on, and he said, 'You have got to be professional.  You signed a contract here, and you could really get into a lot of trouble.  You have worked with worse people in your life.  You can handle this.'  I sat down and phoned my husband and my kids, and had a little cup of tea.  [Husband Ozzy Osbourne] is a fan of the show.  So he said, 'Oh, I want to go to the finale.'  [former Armed & Famous celebrity cop Jack Osbourne] said, 'Mom, [Morgan] would love to get rid of you.  If you quit, he gets his way.'"

While it may be a constant battle with Morgan, Osbourne said the entire America's Got Talent crew have been nothing but supportive for the show's third judge David Hasselhoff, who created quite a media firestorm in early May when a videotape filmed by his daughter that shows him drunk at his Las Vegas home was leaked to the press.

"[I said to Hasselhoff] 'Hey, we are all behind you.  You did nothing wrong.  None of us are perfect,'" Osbourne told TV Guide.  "Obviously David was very upset and we were very upset for him.  It was very unfair.  The man didn't do anything wrong.  How many people do we know who have been drunk in their own homes and done silly things?  The man did not hurt anybody.  He was not abusive.  So what if he was drunk?"

Along with host Jerry Springer, Osbourne is a new face to the America's Got Talent family.  During its first season last summer, the variety-talent competition was judged by Hasselhoff, Morgan and pop singer Brandy Norwood.  However last December, Norwood caused a four-car accident on a Los Angeles freeway that resulted in the death of motorist Awatef Aboudihaj, whose two sons have since filed wrongful death lawsuits against Norwood. So instead of bringing Norwood back, Cowell called upon Osbourne.

"I do not feel I am replacing Brandy," she told TV Guide.  "She is a gorgeous girl.  I am old enough to be her grandmother."

Having worked on The X-Factor and now currently serving as a judge on America's Got Talent -- Osbourne has witnessed performances from people on both sides of the Atlantic -- but the stuff she's seen in America apparently takes the cake.

"You see complete extremes of talent on this show.  There was a ventriloquist woman singing with her mouth closed.  She never moved her body, just stood there like a statue singing.  It was ridiculous.  We also had a guy who was running on a treadmill, making a drink with eggs and fruit in a blender and painting - all at the same time.  When he came flying of his treadmill, paint went on the floor," she told TV Guide.  "People [in America] are more extreme in their talent - or lack thereof.  In England you get more gray, more middle of the road, not particularly brilliant or not particularly bad.  Here it's one way or the other."

(Photo credit NBC)


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