Simon Cowell has pulled out of a planned appearance as judge on the new series of X Factor Israel, Jewish News can reveal.
The veteran presenter had been announced a judge for the fourth season of the show, which was originally due to be filmed in Israel in December 2020.
His team also played an active role in selecting judges for the new season of The X Factor Israel, included booking former Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai.
But a source close to Cowell has now confirmed to Jewish News: “Simon won’t be going to Israel after all. I know it has already been announced that he was one of the judges, but for a number of reasons he just can’t be there in Israel to film the show now. Of course he is bitterly disappointed – but it was a decision he had to take.”
The source declined to say whether Cowell’s decision had been taken as a result of the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.
There have also been concerns about the impact of a busy work schedule on Cowell’s health following a recent back injury and operation.
The X Factor Israel casting team is believed to have now compiled the cast of singers who will participate in the new season that will air on Israeli TV channel Reshet 13 later this year.
Cowell, who had to take time off from live TV after breaking his back in a bike accident last August, said last December that he “can’t wait to see what Israel have to offer” in terms of undiscovered musical talent.
Eden Helena performing on X Factor Israel and at the Eurovision Song Contest:
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