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Simon Cowell sings his praises about NZ

Simon Cowell says New Zealand's got his vote and he'd happily visit here - for a price.

Simon Cowell admits he would happily visit New Zealand – for a price. “If I was offered enough [money], I’d definitely come, sure,” he teases, playing up to his Svengali image when being quizzed about whether he’d appear on New Zealand’s Got Talent, the Kiwi spin-off from Britain’s Got Talent.
“You might need to sort out the judging panel first, though,” he jokes, referring to the scandal involving The X Factor New Zealand’s husband-and-wife judging duo Willy Moon and Natalia Kills. The pair were famously axed from the show for their tirade against 25-year-old contestant Joe Irvine.
When pressed further on his interest in Aotearoa, Simon admits that he would happily head Down Under to soak up the sun, enjoy the “spectacular scenery” and check out the local talent.
“I haven’t been to New Zealand – just like I haven’t been to Australia – so I would definitely like to venture down there. They sound like amazing places,” he says, adding, “I’ve got to put it in the schedule.
Britain's Got Talent judging panel (from left) Amanda Holden, Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.
“I think it’s great that you have artists such as Lorde and Sol3Mio coming out of places like New Zealand,” adds Simon animatedly. “It shows that New Zealand has definitely got talent! It also proves you can become a star from anywhere around the world – if you’re good enough. I love how that can happen.”
The possibility of finding a star anywhere or at any time is still what motivates Simon. It’s also one of the underlying reasons for the enduring appeal of Britain’s Got Talent – now in its ninth season – and its spin-off shows around the globe. However, if you ask Simon for his opinion on the show’s ongoing popularity, he’ll give you a predictably cheeky answer.
“The reason for its enduring appeal is simple – it’s me,” he says, smirking. “But seriously, I love the fact that you’ve got all different ages on this show and so many different types of acts. There are no rules and that’s what this show is all about. Also, the production team is incredible at bringing out these stories [about the contestants] that suck you in. They do a great job.”
Simon is right about the range of ages and variety of acts on Britain’s Got Talent. The first episode of the new series saw a brother-sister roller skating act, a cheeky older ladies’ striptease, a stunning vocal performance from a Welsh choir and a talking dog named Miss Wendy.
“The choir was fantastic but having a talking dog has to be one of the highlights, not only of this series, but all of the previous series too,” says an excited Simon. “A talking dog, who can also sing, is hard to beat. That’s one of my favourite moments, ever. But the idea of an Animals Got Talent show, which I’ve been asked to do in the US – but quickly said ‘no’ to – is taking things a bit too far!”

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