Simon Cowell’s latest round of boy band auditions had shockingly low attendance

Reality TV mogul Simon Cowell has started hosting auditions in his search for the next big boy band — and a recent event was apparently met with shockingly low attendance.

Simon is notorious for leveling harsh and often embarrassing criticism from his perch as a judge on shows like American Idol and America’s Got Talent, but a new venture he’s described as scary landed him on the other side of being judged publicly.

Cowell very recently signed a “huge deal” with Netflix to produce a show titled The Midas Touch, which is set to be Simon’s next big career move.

Netflix doesn’t seem to have formally announced The Midas Touch just yet, so most of what we know about the project comes from early reports about open auditions for the show.

Simon Cowell's Netflix show dealt awkward blow after only '40 people' show  for boy band audition

Simon’s ‘The Midas Touch’ Auditions Were A ‘Major Blow’

Simon Cowell Midas Touch Auditions

On July 7, British tabloid The Sun reported that Simon’s first set of auditions were held the day prior in Liverpool, one of several open calls for boy band prospects.

The Sun’s coverage featured several photographs of what looked like a tent, arranged to accommodate massive queues or lines of boy band hopefuls, but only half of one row was populated with attendees.

Perhaps Simon’s infamously scathing assessments finally caught up with him, because it looked as if hardly anyone turned up to the event, and the outlet quoted an unnamed person who claimed they’d attended Cowell’s auditions.

The source said that prospective boy band members began “arriving slowly” after nine in the morning on the seventh, adding that “the biggest number in the queue never amounted to more than about 40.”

It’s not uncommon for day-long events to take a few hours to get going, particularly ones that begin on a Saturday morning — but the low attendance trend held steady throughout Saturday and into Sunday:

“By early afternoon, the number arriving had virtually dried up, and it was the same story [with] the Sunday audition.

“The amount of railings they put up suggested they were expecting hundreds or thousands of people to arrive and pack out the queues, but they had a fraction of those kinds of numbers.”

The Independent later suggested that Cowell’s The Midas Touch auditions had “failed drastically.”

Back on July 3, The Sun reported that general auditions for The Midas Touch had been scaled back significantly, speculating that the move signaled trouble for Simon’s new project:

“When they made their X Factor debut, the One Direction boys had to join queues packed with thousands of wannabes at one of a dozen audition days. But that’s not quite the case with Simon Cowell’s new bid to find the next big boy band …

” … [Two] Newcastle dates – where [The Midas Touch] planned to kick off the ‘nationwide hunt’ [on July 4] – have been quietly axed, shrinking the number of auditions from nine to seven.”

Based on The Sun’s previous claims, it’s possible showrunners anticipated and adjusted for potential low attendance at The Midas Touch’s first round of auditions.

Finally, British outlet GBN included a detail that might have discouraged prospective young musicians — “the former X Factor judge confessed the new show wouldn’t include a built-in record deal, so candidates would need to attract a label’s interest through their talent alone.”

Simon Admitted He’s Terrified About The Midas Touch

Simon Cowell Auditions

On July 8, the BBC profiled Simon’s newest project, claiming the mogul was “desperate” to find the “next” Zayn Malik.

The BBC quoted Simon on his high-profile boy band search, and he pointed to a stark absence of new British boy bands after One Direction hit it big:

“For whatever reason, in the last [ten] years or [twelve] years, there hasn’t been one [boy band] from the UK, which is crazy.

“I’ve always said to young people, if you can get your mates together and form a band, it will give you a better shot, rather than just posting your own stuff. As a solo artist online, the market is so crowded right now.”

Simon also said that “the amount of UK artists breaking globally [has] fallen” when discussing what drove him to begin his new search.

Separately, Simon told HELLO! Magazine that The Midas Touch is a frightening project for him, in part because the music distribution landscape had changed dramatically since the first season of American Idol:

“In an interview with Hello!, Simon [openly] admitted that launching The Midas Touch was ‘one of the scariest things I’ve ever done because I have no safety net.’

“He elaborated: ‘I used to do this 25 years ago, before social media, so now, everyone is in their bedrooms. Are they going to audition? I hope so.'”

It’s early days for Simon Cowell and The Midas Touch, but it’s also possible that publicity generated by the first set of auditions will drive interest in future rounds.

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