Madonna ‘will appear on The X Factor final’
... as long as she approves of line-up
・Madonna 'will want a lot of creative control over her appearance' on show
・Simon Cowell thinks appearance could boost flagging ratings
・Madonna's label 'will be expected to pay for stage props and backing dancers'
・Singer's appearance could also boost her as yet untitled 13th studio album
It is precisely the sort of headline-grabbing coup that The X Factor needs to boost its flagging ratings.
Simon Cowell has persuaded Madonna to perform in the live final of the ITV talent show – but there are strings attached.
One source said: ‘Madonna will have been provisionally booked because the final can be subject to change if an artist doesn’t approve of the finalists – especially if they have agreed to sing with them.
‘Someone like Madonna will want a lot of creative control over her appearance, but for Simon the ratings will be worth it.’
But the source added that there were also conditions Madonna must agree to.
‘She has been told that her label will be expected to pay for any stage props and backing dancers she brings with her,’ the insider said.
The 56-year-old pop queen’s appearance on December 13 will hark back to the show’s heyday when it could attract superstars of the calibre of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Beyoncé Knowles.
And Madonna’s appearance could also boost sales of her as-yet untitled 13th studio album, due for release just after the live final.
Another source close to the show told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It had been rumoured that Irish rockers U2 were being lined up to take part. But that has not happened and the confusion may have come because they share the same manager, Guy Oseary.’
An ITV source said last night: ‘We do always look for the best artists for the final. Madonna’s name will have been on a list at some point, yes. But nothing will be made certain until just before the live final.’
Meanwhile, Cowell is setting his sights on establishing an X Factor-style show in India. The music mogul wants to find a boy band that can dominate the sub-continent in the same way his acts such as One Direction do in Britain and America.
India is a lucrative market: the country is home to more than 700 million people under the age of 30 and has seen an explosion in music sales.
A source said that discussions with TV networks were at an advanced stage. Cowell already has a relationship with broadcaster Colors which screens India’s Got Talent to audiences of 100 million.
A spokesman for his company, Syco, said: ‘India is an important market to us and there are a number of new projects in discussion.’ These include a stage show taking place in December in Mumbai.
Cowell is also planning an international talent contest across all countries where his Got Talent franchise is screened.