Sting Slams Simon Cowell's "X Factor": "It Has Put Music Back Decades"

Monday, Nov 16, 2009  |  Updated 4:00 PM CDT
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Sting Slams Simon Cowell's "X Factor": "It Has Put Music Back Decades"

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Sting confounded the Rainforest Foundation to protect rain forests and their indigenous peoples in 1989. He performed at the Live Earth Concert in 2007 with The Police to close out the event.

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Sting may be a multi-millionaire rocker, but he doesn't think the world's next musical superstars can be found on British television.

Sting slammed Simon Cowell's British reality singing competition, "X Factor," in a recent interview with London's Evening Standard.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: The Verdict Is In! Judges Of Reality Television

"I am sorry but none of those kids are going to go anywhere, and I say that sadly. They are humiliated when they get sent off," the rocker ranted. "How appalling for a young person to feel that rejection. It is a soap opera which has nothing to do with music. In fact, it has put music back decades. Television is very cynical."

Sting told the paper the show (which has actually produced an international sensation – Leona Lewis – whose debut album "Spirit" received three Grammy nominations), just looks for people that are like established artists.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Rock Stars

"I tried to keep an open mind, but basically I was looking at televised karaoke where they conform to stereotypes. They are either Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston or [Irish boy band] Boyzone and are not encouraged to create any real unique signature or fingerprint. That cannot come from TV," he said. "The 'X Factor' is a preposterous show and you have judges who have no recognizable talent apart from self-promotion, advising them what to wear and how to look. It is appalling."

And on Saturday, Simon himself defended his program, which is rumored to be heading stateside in the coming years.

"Talking about these contestants being a bunch of karaoke no-hopers … I thought it was pompous," he said, before inviting Sting to come on the show as a mentor," Simon said, according to People.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Anything But Dreadful! Hot Shots Of Simon Cowell!

He also extended an invitation for the British rocker to come on the show, but said on Sunday, "He hasn't called yet. We're waiting."

Beyond Sting, however, "X Factor" made headlines for another reason over the weekend. While twins John & Edward were performing their mix of "Under Pressure" and "Ice Ice Baby," electronic rocker Calvin Harris made a stage invasion wearing a fruit… Quite literally.

Calvin, who was there as part of an "X Factor" follow-up show, was booted out for his move, but Tweeted about being tossed.

"Was just thrown out of x factor for jumping onstage during Jedward with a pineapple on my head," he wrote (Jedward is the nickname of the twin contestants).

Related Content from AccessHollywood.com:
PLAY IT NOW: Leona Lewis Talks Sophomore Album, Relating To Susan Boyle & Simon Cowell
PLAY IT NOW: Simon Cowell's Kiss-And-Tell

MORE ACCESS ON THESE TOPICS: Simon Cowell - Reality TV - Rock - Mariah Carey - Music

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