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Simon Fuller won't let 'The X Factor' take 'American Idol' "into the mud"

By Christopher Rocchio, 01/18/2010 

Simon Fuller claims he will not allow The X Factor's stateside launch ruin American Idol.

"I want Idol to be purely about talent," the American Idol creator and executive producer told the Times of London in a Saturday report.

"We're not going to be led into the mud, we're going to stay on our hill."

Simon Cowell inked a deal with Fox last week that will end his American Idol judging role while also launching his British The X Factor reality competition series for the network in Fall 2011.

Fuller said if The X Factor takes viewers away from American Idol, "that's the way it will be" since he has no plans of changing the show's format.

While much has been made about who will replace Cowell on American Idol's judging panel, Fuller said it's more important that the show continue to find top-shelf talent.

"We're only as good as the talent that we find," he told the Times. "If we don't produce a true star every year I'd be thinking 'We're in trouble.'"

To help meet that goal, Fuller said American Idol will also use online auditions, which he told the Times are critical for creating the "biggest process of checking out new talent there's ever been."

"Music is at the core of my passion," Fuller told the Times.

"But I did take a deliberate sidestep away from it because I could see it was changing for ever. Idol provided me with artists that weren't reliant on the system. It's seen as a commercial machine that has painted me as something that isn't really me. I have integrity about music and believe the talent that comes out of Idol is legitimate."

In addition, Fuller described the reported rivalry between him and Cowell as "grossly exaggerated" and instead likened their relationship to "brothers."

"And brothers squabble," he told the Times.

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