L.A. Reid Slams The X Factor: “It’s the Worst Thing I’ve Ever Done”

L.A. Reid
L.A. Reid says signing on to be a judge on The X Factor was the worst thing he's ever done and "almost destroyed" his taste in music  Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Tell Us how you really feel! L.A. Reid did not hold back when reflecting on his experience as a judge on The X Factor in 2011 and 2012. During a Q&A at a Pepsi-sponsored event in Cannes on Saturday, June 6, the veteran record company exec said the reality competition "almost destroyed" his taste in music.

"It's the worst thing I've ever done," Reid said, via The Hollywood Reporter, of appearing on the show alongside Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, Britney Spears, and Demi Lovato

The Epic Records chief went on to say that while his first season was enjoyable — like "a little bit of a vacation" — the second season interfered with his career and "wasn't fun anymore."

"More importantly, it really affected my taste — it almost destroyed it. It completely threw me off," he said, noting that he planned to detail his experience in an upcoming book. "What works for television isn't necessarily the thing that works in the traditional journey of music, so I adjusted my taste for television."

He continued: "But the truth is, I lowered my bar — my bar was quite high, if I'm being honest, and as a result, I didn't have the same level of success. The bar is quite high again now, but it was damaging. I worked with Simon Cowell, who I love and have great respect for and he has great taste, but being around him for that long, I started to take on his taste, and I'm an amateur at having his taste — I'm good at my kind of taste."

Asked about the show's success — and Cowell's infamous statement that "it was a failure" if it "didn't do 20 million viewers" — Reid said he thought it did well. But apparently not well enough.

"We did 14 million, which is actually a runaway success, but because we didn't do 20, it was a failure," he stated. "To be honest? The truth is: The Voice cleaned our clock."

UPDATE: Reid clarified his remarks via Twitter on Sunday, June 7, writing:

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