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Matt Lauer held an increasingly awkward interview with “The X Factor” mogul Simon Cowell on “Today” Tuesday (Feb. 8). The feed from the U.K. was part of the problem. The other part was asking Lauer yelling at Cowell for not “giving him anything.”

In between being berated by the news anchor, Cowell did find time to answer a few questions. The first thing he addresses is the 12 years and up age limit on “X Factor.”

“Historically, I’ve seen a lot of kiddie singers who look like they’re pushed into the audition room by these awful stage moms … and nobody wants to sit through that,” Cowell laughs. “But what’s changed over the years is you look at someone like Willow Smith now or [Jackie Evancho from ‘America’s Got Talent’] and you take it case by case. What we’ve seen now is a new wave of 12, 13, 14 year olds who actually didn’t watch ‘Idol’ and they want to be contemporary pop stars. I thought long and hard about how old these kids should be.”

As far as judges for “X Factor” go, Cowell is still saying mum (you’re not giving us anything!), but he does say, “Definitely not Mick Jagger. I honestly don’t know. I was talking to somebody Friday who I really, really want to be on the show … they’ll be cute and the guy won’t be as good-looking as me.”

He also gets a chance to address his recent comment about not watching “Idol” this season. He cites the fact that it’s on at a different time in the U.K. and it’s been difficult.

But he did watch some clips last week and says of the judges, “They look good. I think they’re doing fine. They have a different approach to what I used to do before. I think the show has to reinvent itself and I think it’s right that it’s a different show to what we made before. I left the show on fantastic terms. I still talk to Randy and Ryan. We’re still good friends.”

Cowell also tells Matt Lauer that no, he is not invited to the Royal wedding and no, he does  not know who is designing Kate Middleton’s weddign gown. *headsmack*, Matt Lauer.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."