The Blog

Cowell vs Lyon: Why There's Really No Comparison

They're both music moguls with the capacity to determine what we listen to, what we dance to and what we make out to.

'You're So Beautiful' is one thing, but have you ever gotten jiggy while Zig and Zag's 'Them Girls Them Girls' plays none too seductively in the background? Considering the fast, frenetic beat, it's maybe not to be recommended, especially taking into account the amount of anatomically sensitive fractures, muscle strains and "Where'd the hell that go to?" lost objects this track has caused (citation needed).

Along with the physical anguish, there's the rumoured and less well documented psychological effect of screaming out the name of your favourite puppet character when climaxing. "Yes,Yes,Yes, Yes,Yes, Oh Dear God...Sooty".

These are the luminaries who can create and crush careers. They're the makers and breakers of hopes and dreams. Their sphere of influence can mean the difference between a number 1 hit and a number 46 flop. Or in the case of Ben Haenow, a number 21 hitflop - a term given to any release just outside of the top 20 that's neither a bona fide hit or a certifiable flop.

They are the maverick impresarios behind many of the industry's biggest platinum selling artists. But how does Simon Cowell stack up, even in those stack heels of his, against Lucious Lyon?

Not particularly favourably if you examine the following 10 point list.

1- Cowell's company is called Syco. Lyon's is called Empire. The latter speaks of a kingdom; an all conquering and ever expanding territory ruled over by a mighty leader. The former speaks of a ruthless organisation, a sort of singing Spectre (or should that be Spector in honour of Phil? - another mad, musical genius if ever there was one) overseen by someone of a slightly insecure disposition.

2- Where Lyon goes, Cowell merely follows, desperately playing catch up. Look at Tiana. No sooner is she a sensation across the pond, than Simon brings us a homegrown copycat in the form of Fleur East.

3- Cowell may know where the bodies are buried figuratively. Lyon however knows where they're buried literally because he's the one who actually did away with them. Among the victims, his supposed and lifelong best friend, Bunkie Williams. Luring the poor sap to the docks one night, he shot him in cold blood and then dumped his lifeless corpse into the river. Louis Walsh should count himself very lucky that it's Simon who he's so close to. He wouldn't want to be upsetting Lucious anytime soon.

4 - Unlike Cowell who can't carry a tune, Lyon is a performer of note; a celebrated hip hop artist with a string of hits to his name and a sound - the Lucious Lyon sound - christened after him.

5- In addition to acclaimed recording stars, Jamal and Hakeem, Lyon has another son called Andre. He's the family's business mastermind who helped to instigate the Empire IPO. Cowell, on the other hand, has only one son.

At two years old, Eric can't yet read a sheet of music, let alone a balance sheet. To the best of anyone's knowledge, Junior currently demonstrates no musical ability. Fortunately, Squiddly and Diddly, Simon's beloved pooches can yap, snarl and bark, which if certain of his past acts are anything to go by, must surely mark them out as chart toppers somewhere in the world. Dog lovers will be praying it's not China. Anyway, don't bet against him already having them in the studio.

6- Lyon has spent time in prison. Cowell has apparently also spent time in a hell hole, but that was one Christmas when Sandy Lane in Barbados didn't quite have his suite ready and he had to endure a night in a standard double without an ocean view.

During his most recent incarceration, Lucious arranged for the killing of fellow inmate, Frank Gathers, someone he coincidentally used to deal drugs for. He then peed on the grave of the deceased by signing Gather's rapper daughter, Freda. Nice!

Of course, Cowell too is guilty of murder, albeit involving the slaughtering of lyrics. Millions still find it hard to forget or forgive Robson and Jerome's, not to mention, Gareth Gates's versions of 'Unchained Melody'.

7- Cowell has Sinitta as his ex-girlfriend. Whereas, Lyon has Cookie as his ex-wife. She's the mother of his children. She served time for him. She's a record producer in her own right. To get what she believes she's entitled to, she will stop at nothing. Ultimately though, whatever Cookie does, Lucious loves her. Can the same be said of Simon and the 'So Macho' songbird who seemingly can't stop embarrassing her former beau? In 20 years, it wouldn't come as any great surprise to see her dating young Eric. "Dad, have you met my new girlfriend?"

8- Lyon thought he had the terminal disease, ALS, hence his eagerness to turn the company over to one of his offspring. Luckily, as it turned out, he had MG, the chronic but less serious neuromuscular disorder. Cowell meanwhile didn't even have JLS because foolishly he chose not to sign them.

9- When it comes to being friends with those in high places, Lyon's chumminess with Obama is definitely something Cowell can only aspire to. Since the US elections are happening next year, now might be a good moment for him to start schmoozing one of the candidates. Bernie Sanders looks like a Little Mix fan to me.

10- Everything Lyon touches keeps on turning to gold. But Cowell appears to be losing his magic. His live competition, Ultimate DJ, has been unceremoniously dropped by Yahoo before a frame of it aired. What next? Well, with One Direction departing planet pop, he's sorely mistaken if he thinks he can replace them with any of his latest round of television wannabes. Oopsie! there goes Bupsi.

Empire (E4) continues on Tuesday evenings. The X Factor (ITV) continues this Saturday.

Louisa Johnson, Anton Stephens and 4th Impact might be wondering to themselves whether they auditioned for the right show or indeed the right man.