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Hitting the buzzer

Simon Cowell pulls out as judge on Israel’s ‘X Factor’

Source close to British reality TV mogul does not cite specific reason, says Cowell is ‘bitterly disappointed’

Reality music show mogul Simon Cowell will join the Israeli version of 'X-Factor' as a judge in the new season (Courtesy 'X-Factor Israel')
Illustrative: A handout photo of reality music show mogul Simon Cowell to announce he was joining the Israeli version of 'X-Factor' as a judge in the new season (Courtesy 'X-Factor Israel')

Entertainment mogul Simon Cowell, known for creating and judging on “American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent,” Britain’s “X Factor” and other reality TV competitions, has canceled his planned appearance on Israel’s version of “X Factor.”

A source close to Cowell confirmed that “Simon won’t be going to Israel after all,” The Jewish News of London reported Tuesday.

The report did not indicate why the British music impresario nixed plans to participate in the show later this year, or whether it was connected to the 11-day exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza that ended with a ceasefire on May 21.

The music impresario underwent extensive back surgery following an electric bike accident earlier in 2020.

“For a number of reasons, he just can’t be there in Israel to film the show now,” said the source, who was not named. “Of course he is bitterly disappointed – but it was a decision he had to take.”

Cowell is Christian, but his late father, Eric, was Jewish, as is his current partner, Lauren Silverman, who recently gave birth to the couple’s first child.

Cowell’s stint on the Israeli show would have been the first time he judged on the show he created outside of the UK and the US.

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