Here's Why Simon Cowell's Latest Comments On One Direction's Success Are Not Going Down Super Well

Here's Why Simon Cowell's Latest Comments On One Direction's Success Are Not Going Down Super Well

Simon Cowell's latest comments on boy bands have been called into question.

Simon Cowell on a red carpet for NBC's America's Got Talent, wearing a fitted dark T-shirt, dark pants, and sunglasses
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The X Factor alum said in a statement obtained by Rolling Stone, “Every generation deserves a megastar boyband and I don’t think there has been one to have the success of One Direction in over 14 years. The industry tends to focus on solo artists — so it usually takes someone from outside to put a group together."

Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, and Niall Horan of One Direction perform on stage, all wearing casual outfits with jeans and shirts
Kevin Kane / Getty Images for Jingle Ball 2012

Indeed, the record executive announced that he will be holding open auditions across the UK to take part in a boy band boot camp — all of which might form the basis of a new documentary.

Simon Cowell poses in a dark knit sweater at an event
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"There’s always a high degree of risk, and I genuinely have no idea what’s going to happen! We might uncover an incredible group; we might not get there. What if no one shows up to auditions? That could be awkward. There is no guaranteed path to success — anything can happen, but that’s what’s exciting for me, and that’s why I’m doing this," he continued.

Simon Cowell
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His comments about the lack of a "megastar boyband" for this generation drew ire from those who pointed to BTS's success.

BTS members V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin, and J-Hope on the red carpet in coordinated suits at the Grammy Awards
Axelle / FilmMagic

Indeed, BTS appears to have outsold One Direction globally. They're also the most streamed band on Spotify. They've broken multiple records, including the most viewers for the premiere of a music video on YouTube. In terms of US chart performance, they have six number ones compared to 1D's zero. That being said, on the UK chart specifically, 1D has more hits.

BTS members perform on stage in sophisticated black outfits, striking dynamic poses with microphones
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Outside of BTS, K-pop generated over $5 billion in 2022. Boy bands like Tomorrow X Together, Stray Kids, and Seventeen have achieved further global success.

BTS on the red carpet with the members wearing coordinated suits
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Simon has previously made headlines for his comments on K-pop. In 2019, he said of his previous attempt to launch a band-themed reality show, "K-Pop is ruling the world. This is a show to find a band to launch UK-Pop. It’s more than winning a record contract, it’s starting a new music wave."

Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Simon Cowell, Zayn Malik, and Niall Horan stand together on a red carpet. The band members sport casual outfits; Cowell is in a suit
Dave Hogan / Getty Images

I'm sure everything will go...great this time.