Reality TV judge extraordinaire Simon Cowell had to abruptly exit the latest season of America's Got Talent after breaking his back, leading to a slew of guest judges while he recovered. Now, Cowell is on his way back to television, but not for the new season of America's Got Talent next. Cowell will judge a season of one of the international editions of The X Factor.
Simon Cowell is on board to judge the upcoming season of The X Factor Israel, according to Deadline. The Israel version of the hit series that Cowell created in the United Kingdom has aired for three seasons so far, although has been on a break for several years. The last season aired from October 2017 to January 28. Cowell will serve as judge for the fourth season.
Although there are no details about when the fourth season of The X Factor Israel will air on Israel's Reshet 13 network, Simon Cowell has evidently recovered enough from his back injury to return to his work as a reality TV judge (and go jet-skiing). The show has reportedly just gone into production, which presumably means The X Factor Israel will be ready for the airwaves in the first half of 2021.
No other judges have been announced at the time of writing, but previous judge panels included rock singer Rami Fortis, pop singer and songwriter Moshe Peretz, rapper Subliminal, R&B singer Shiri Maimon, and pop singer Ivri Lider. Let it not be said that The X Factor Israel didn't cover its bases when it comes to music genres! Supermodel Bar Refaeli has served as host.
Simon Cowell is arguably best known for The X Factor, although he rose to fame in the United States as the most critical judge on the original run of American Idol. He created The X Factor for the U.K., however, which has run for 16 years so far, although a new season did not debut in 2020. Cowell has appeared as a judge on an international version of the show before, as the face of the American X Factor series from 2011-2013. He explained why he's coming to The X Factor Israel, saying:
Over the years The X Factor format discovered amazing talents from all over the world, I can’t wait to see what Israel have to offer.
As for the original U.K. version of The X Factor, Simon Cowell is contracted for at least one more season of the series thanks to a five-year deal with ITV. He will also return at some point to Britain's Got Talent. As for America's Got Talent, the United States equivalent of Britain's Got Talent is slated to return in the summer of 2021, but whether or not Simon Cowell will be back as a judge has not been announced.
Joining The X Factor Israel is proof that Simon Cowell has recovered from his back injury enough to begin TV judging again, but it's possible that he won't be back on AGT after missing a good chunk of the latest season. AGT has faced many changes in the judges panel over recent years, and it would be interesting to see how the show would go about replacing a giant like Cowell. Still, only time will tell what The X Factor Israel means for America's Got Talent.
For now, be sure to check out our 2021 winter and spring TV guide for the shows that you can look forward to in the new year that have received premiere dates so far.