The X-Factor judge and Black Eyed Peas frontman have been talking about putting together a technology-based competition show, Deadline has learned. Will.i.am first brought up the idea of the collaboration with Simon Cowell at the UK’s Royal Television Society’s “When Worlds Collide” conference last week. “We’re working on a project called X-Factor for tech, and it’s going to be out of this world,” the singer said via a live video conference Q&A from LA, according to reports in the British press. Will.i.am told the conference he and Cowell discussed the idea a couple of weeks ago over dinner. Part of the concept to make the as-yet-unnamed project unique from X-Factor or American Idol was economic scale: “Singing and performance create a couple of jobs, but this will create jobs,” Will.i.am said.
In the UK, the singer and Cowell have actually been on-screen rivals; Will.i.am is one of the judges on the UK version of The Voice. Earlier this year, The Voice UK, running on the BBC, went head-to-head for a while on Saturdays with Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent on ITV. Talent, which Cowell produces and stars on, ended up winning the ratings battle.