British Crooner Olly Murs Tells Us Why ‘The X-Factor’ Will Blow Our Minds [EXCLUSIVE]

One Direction in NYC
The boys' performance at Rockefeller Plaza.
Steve Jones
The former 'X-Factor' host on Ellen.
I had a lovely chat with The X-Factor UK’s 2009 runner-up Olly Murs ahead of his private concert at The Sayers Club in Hollywood last night (June 19th).  We talked about his upcoming album, In Case You Didn’t Know (out September 25th) and his take on The X-Factor in American so far.  Murs is currently on tour with One Direction, but we’re hoping he joins forces with Michael Buble at some point.  Find out why below.

First thing’s first, I said to Murs.  Why isn’t The X-Factor US as popular with its audience as its UK counterpart?  “I’m going to make a bet with you right now,” Murs told me.  “American X-Factor is gonna blow your mind.  It’s going to be the best this year.  It’s going to beat everything.”

Fine, I’ll take your word for it, only because your accent is so dreamy.

I brought up Steve Jones and Cheryl Cole, because I truly like both of them and was sad to see them go.

“I thought Steve did a decent job [despite it being] his first year,” Murs said.  “You could tell he was nervous, and he was just finding his feet near the end.  He did get some flack, but he’s a good guy.” And what about Cheryl? 

Cheryl, on the hand – it was a shame to see her go.  It didn’t work for some reason, I don’t know why.  But the show did come on the air, and I think the judges were good, but it could better.  This year you have [new judges] Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. I mean, come on.  That’s pretty big.”

Yeah…I guess.  But I miss Steve Jones.

“I think everyone is excited [about the new season] in the UK.  I think in the states it’s buzzing everywhere that Britney’s doing the show.  Just to see what she’s like, you know?  She’s a huge star.”

Murs hosts The Xtra Factor, an aftershow immediately following each episode of The X-Factor.  “We talk about how the contestants did, and we talk about how what happened behind the scenes that week,” Murs told me.  “We talk to the judges and to special guests; last year we had Katy Perry and Nicole Scherzinger.”

Murs has big dreams for the show.  “I’m hoping that one day The X-Factor does really, really well [stateside] and then Simon will say to me, ‘We want to do Xtra Factor in America.’  Then I can come over from the UK to do it with a really, really hot, sexy American presenter,” Murs joked.  Then, he backtracked and gave his co-host a boost.  “Unless Caroline [Flack] from the UK comes with me.  We’ll see.”

Right now, Murs is working on his third album after finding success on the first two.  “The second album was perfect, and the first album was great.  I’ve been writing recently and am really, really excited.  There are some good songs, songs I didn’t think I could write.  New vibe, new sort of direction.  I like to experiment with my songs. On my album, the tracks are different from 1 to 10, so I’m hoping when people get it, they enjoy it.

Who would Murs love to duet with?  “James Brown, if he was still alive,” Murs said.  I love [English ska band] Madness, and I really love Michael Buble as well.”

That’s exactly who we were reminded of when Murs performed later on.  His voice was entrancing and his mood on stage was infectious.  I found myself swaying along to “Oh My Goodness” and “I’m OK.”

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