In the aftermath of the recent fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, Simon Cowell is said to have postponed his scheduled visit as a judge on “X Factor Israel.”
“After all, Simon isn’t going to Israel. I know he was already named as one of the judges, but he just can’t be in Israel to tape the show right now for a variety of reasons,” a source close to the veteran producer told the Jewish News.
“Of course, he’s disappointed – but it was a decision he had to make,” the source added, declining to clarify whether Cowell’s decision was influenced by Israel’s recent confrontation with Hamas.
Variety reported that Cowell was canceling “for his own reasons” according to a spokesman for Reshet, an Israeli TV firm that produces “X Factor Israel.”
Cowell’s staff had expressed “genuine worries” about his participation after the recent bloodshed in Gaza, according to a company representative, but he had made no final decision at the time.
Outside of judging, Reshet would not specify if Cowell would be involved in the show’s creation.
Cowell, who had surgery after breaking his back in a bike accident last year, confirmed in December that he would be a judge on the fourth season of “X Factor Israel.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, he claimed at the time that he could “not wait to see what the Israelis had to offer.”
Netta Barzilai, an Israeli singer and former Eurovision Song Contest winner, was one of the judges chosen by Cowell’s team for the current season of the Israeli competition.
The winner of this year’s “X Factor Israel” will compete in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2022 for the first time.