She has maroon hair, a voice as clear and thin as Baccarat crystal, a joyous laugh, absolutely perfect skin, a heart the size of New York, and the saltiest vernacular on prime time TV. She is also smart, warm, loyal, hilarious, loving and legendary among music industry veterans as a someone you never want to cross. She is Sharon Osbourne, wife of Ozzy, mother of Jack and Kelly and Aimee, cancer survivor, dog lover, music mogul, TV star, producer and one of the judges (with David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan) on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ the NBC competition series whose season premiere is Tuesday June 23 at 9 pm. Displaying her brand of heavy mettle, the world’s most famous mom updated us on her life, opinions, secret crushes, and what kind of grandparents she and Ozzy will make someday.
First, Sharon, thank you for taking time to speak with us. Let’s catch up with your family: Kelly has a book deal with Virgin. Can you tell us what it’s about? Yeah sure. Kelly’s book is coming out in August. It’s a book or young girls. It’s about the sixteen most important things when you are a teenager. It’s first kiss, first date, your period. Stuff like that. It’s so she can advise, where she went wrong, and so they can learn from her mistakes, and it’s cute.
Did she say ‘Mom, help me?‘ Or use any advice from the past? No, I didn’t absolutely nothing. My daughter is 24 (laughs); I have no input whatsoever in what she does! It’s all hers, her relating to her generation. This book is for like 13 to 18-year-olds.
I heard that you and Ozzy have a guest spot on coming up on Jack’s show, ‘Adrenaline Junkie’. Is that true? Yes we are. We’re going to be filming it next month. We’re going to Patagonia to film it.
What inspired you to come up with Osbournes: Reloaded (Fox) in a variety show format? You know we were offered a great opportunity from Fremantle to come up with a show. We all came up with this show (format), and it was so great to work together again. We had so much fun doing it.
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What’s your take on the stations that had issues with Reloaded? It’s so pathetic that one quarter of the country wouldn’t play it. And then there was about another 5 percent that wouldn’t play it until after 1:30 in morning. It’s pathetic. But you know what, it’s just hypocrisy. You have a station that has a cartoon on about a dog wanting to f–k the mother in the house, and, uhm, a fish that thinks it’s a Nazi. But that’s okay because it’s a cartoon, it’s not real.
Before we talk about the upcoming season of ‘America’s Got Talent’, congratulations for being named an Ambassador by Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) — and for being a survivor — and you’re still totally healthy now, right? Yeah. Thank you, I’m great.
So what gets you excited about coming back for another season of ‘America’s Got Talent’? You just never know what’s going to come out on that stage. It’s always great fun. I just love the whole format of that show. It’s really fun to work on.
Can you talk about working with your ‘Talent’ co-judge David Hasselhoff? Have you given him advice, or shared life stories with him off-camera? Yeah, we share a lot of life stories. We’re the same age. We’ve got, you know, daughters. He’s got two daughters; I’ve got two daughters. Yeah, we talk a lot. He’s a great guy.
And he has had his share of challenges too — and is so beloved like people that you know (read: Ozzy) — is he okay? He’s gone through a load of crap recently. That’s been put on him. And nobody should have to go through that.
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In your experience working with AGT and other shows, how do you know when someone’s ‘got it’ as a performer? What’s the “it” factor? You can’t taste it. You can’t smell it. But you know when somebody walks out; you can see somebody who is really special. Somebody who ticks all the boxes. You’ve got be well-rounded. You’ve got to have a great personality. You’ve got to be talented. You’ve got to be charismatic. It needs a bit of all of that to make somebody really a star.
Excluding your husband, who are the most talented performers you’ve ever seen, and why? Oh my goodness. People like Justin Timberlake, Elton John, Eric Clapton. I think that Justin Timberlake is probably the only true star that’s come up in that last 15 years. He’s the only one.
Do you mean Justin’s vocal range, charisma? What is it about him that grabs you? He has immense ability. He is extremely talented in every format. He can dance; he can sing; he can write; he produces. Justin is a great all-rounder, but he’s got that something special. Of all the people in that last 15 years, he is the one who will stand the test of time.
What did you think of Susan Boyle? I think her story is great story. A story of hope, the underdog. I think people love that. We all love the underdog — somebody’s dream come true. It’s a phenomenon the world has never seen before. Since we live in an electronic world, now with the internet, it was instant worldwide. I think Susan Boyle goes to show you the strength of the internet. It’s not so much Susan Boyle as the internet, and how (the net) can ‘make’ someone in literally 24 hours.
Is there pressure to find a Susan Boyle-type for ‘America’s Got Talent’? A gifted wild-card underdog out of thin air, someone like that? The world can only take one Susan Boyle. As I said, it is more the internet than Susan Boyle. It goes to show you the world we live in. You post something up — if it’s good, if it’s great — the next day the whole world knew her name. And it’s not her talent. It’s the internet, that combination. Come on, we all know ladies in every church choir who can sing like Susan Boyle, and look like Susan Boyle.
How did you react to Kris Allen’s ‘American Idol’ win over Adam Lambert? I wasn’t surprised at all. But I always loved Adam from Day One. I was an Adam fan.
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Does Adam Lambert remind you of Freddie Mercury? Because you knew Freddie back in the day before he was famous, right, when he apparently worked in a clothing store. Does Adam compare? He compares with the fact that, yes, he’s a great talent — I don’t know if his writing ability is anything like Freddie Mercury’s, the well-rounded artist that can perform, sing, write, produce. We haven’t seen that side of him yet. But Adam will be hugely successful all over the world. But to say is he another Freddie Mercury? Only time will tell.
You once said Simon Cowell, your executive producer on ‘Talent’, saw in you something that nobody else did. What was it? I think he saw me as somebody obviously who had great experience in the entertainment industry, and was quite personable. Simon saw that when nobody else did. He saw that in me to (hire) me as a judge.
Do you think Simon will stay on Idol after this year? Oh God. I don’t know. He’s unstoppable. He will go on forever. When the rest of us have had too much of this and we want to back off, Simon will still be going.
What about Paula Abdul? i like Paula. She’s a great character. She’s a very nice, good woman.
How do you think the fourth judge is working out — Kara — does she fit in? Any words of wisdom for her? You know, I don’t like any talent show with four judges. It is too much. It is too time-consuming. It takes up too much time between contestants. It just doesn’t work well, for me. I’ve worked on a show with four judges. Three opinions, two to one, works — you’ve got a jeopardy there — four doesn’t work. And it’s nothing to do with the new judge. I don’t even know her. But for me, I just don’t like any talent show with four judges.
Since you are famous for being spot-on on so many topics, what do you think of your new First Lady, Michelle Obama? She’s an amazing young woman. She’s well educated. A classy woman, a great role model for America to have.
According to reports, President Obama is one of the most fantasized-about political figures since Kennedy. Do you think it is justified — is Mr. President really hot? Well, I’ve never been a political groupie. But I know there are women the world over who are. I’ve just never been one, so I couldn’t even comment on that!
Whose the sexier couple, Michelle and Barack Obama or the Sarkozy’s in France? Oh my God, Obama, come on! Obama! Obama and Michelle. They are such a classy and elegant couple. They are such amazing ambassadors for this country.
Can you tell us something about yourself Sharon, past or present, that nobody knows? Oh dear, let me see. Uhm. I’m such a big mouth, I tell everybody everything. So I don’t think there is much that anybody doesn’t know! No plans for a secret adoption or anything? No, no, no. Not for me. This is the time of my life for my husband and me. I couldn’t think about going through all that (raising babies) again.
You’ve pioneered so much in entertainment, from Ozzfest to ‘Osbournes: Reloaded’. What can we look forward to seeing you do next? I don’t know. I had a lot of ambition, and I’ve done all that was on my list to do. I’ve been so blessed with success.
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Are there any surprises in the wings in this new season coming up? We just did our final top 40 in Vegas. I am really proud of all of the artists. There are talented people, much more so than last year.
Besides Russell Brand, who are your favorite celebrity crushes of the moment? People who just rock your world — male or female? I have always loved Johnny Depp. You can’t get better than Johnny Depp.
Has Johnny, who is also a musician, ever performed with Ozzy? No, never. But we’re lucky enough to know him. He’s just an amazing, amazing actor.
Are you involved in the Ozzy documentary in the works? Jack is doing it. It’ll be out by next year. I have no idea what Jack and Ozzy have come up.
Kelly is dating and engaged, is that correct? Yes, she is.
Do you want to be a grandmother any time soon? That’s definitely on my list. Of course. I’m dying to be a grandma. I’m dying for my kids to make me a grandma. That’s another phase of my life I am looking forward to.
What kind of grandparents do you think you and Ozzy will make? Oh terrible, because we’ll spoil them! And then give them back.
Tune into the season premiere of ‘America’s Got Talent’ June 23 on NBC at 9 pm.