Willis Earl Beal: ‘Simon Cowell told me to shut up when I auditioned for ‘The X Factor”

Singer also admits he wanted to win the show, but ultimately 'ruined' his chances

Willis Earl Beal has revealed that Simon Cowell told him to “shut up” and stop “blabbering” when he auditioned for The X Factor USA.

The singer auditioned for the American version of the TV talent show before he went on to sign a deal with XL Records and release his debut solo album ‘Acousmatic Sorcery’ and, in an interview in this week’s NME magazine, insisted he’d been determined to win the competition.

Speaking of the audition process, he said:

I went through all the levels, and then finally I got in front of Simon and Cheryl Cole and LA Reid. And Simon told me to shut up ‘cos I was, like, blabbering.


He then went on to say he had “wanted to win” the show but had “ruined” his chances in the Bootcamp stage of the competition by forgetting the words and swearing during his performance, adding: “What happened was I ended up hiding away in the bathroom, ‘cos they had all these people in one room, banging on the piano and doing twirls and shit. I’d smuggled some beer in and just got drunk in the toilet.”

To read the rest of NME‘s interview with Willis Earl Beal, where the singer discusses being a wizard and why he’d hate to be as successful as Lady Gaga or Adele, pick up the new issue of NME, which is on newsstands now or available digitally.