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"I heard that," Cowell told Chicago radio station US 99.5 of the rumors. "It's news to me. It really, really is. I don't think that's true. I mean, I adore Carrie. We found her on the show, but I don't know if that's true or not."
Not that the record label executive is opposed to country artists appearing on either side of the judges' table. In fact, it was country competitor Tate Stevens who won the show last season, which Simon predicted from his first audition.
"Often the country artist seems to do better now on these shows than the other kinds of singers," he explains. "And actually we wanted a country singer for 'X Factor' last year, and that's why we searched the regions of the country. As soon as I heard Tate's first audition, I said, 'I think this guy's going to win. I think people are going to really, really like him. He's a great guy. Honest guy. He deserves a break. Great singer.' Sure enough he won, and I was thrilled for him."
Tate's self-titled debut album will be released April 23. Meanwhile, Carrie continues her global Blown Away tour with shows this weekend in Ireland and Great Britain. She returns to the U.S. with a show in Richmond, Va. on March 21. Keep track of Carrie's tour schedule here.