It's not that Simon hasn't tried to build that sort of culture with X Factor USA, it's just that I think the American public as a whole sees right through the manipulated and manufactured nature of it. Hiring Britney and Khloe were deliberate attempts to create that sort of drama and both failed miserably at delivering anything substantial (though I did kind of like it when Khloe flubbed her lines because it actually made her seem real and sort of likable). That said, it's not that a majority of Americans aren't entertained by manufactured drama, with as popular as those ridiculous Real Housewives shows and their ilk are. That's probably the part that confounds Simon. I think it might be that Americans have become desensitized to that sort of manufactured drama on talent shows (since American Idol is guilty of it as well, albeit in a bit less obvious of a way).
Another point of difference is that Americans in general just aren't as interested in those big, showy performances. This is one of those things that killed Season 1 of X Factor USA. It got much better in Season 2, where the big, showy performances were utilized more for the performers who actually embraced it (like, say, Lyric 145 and CeCe). If Tate had competed in Season 1, I would've fully expected him to be forced to perform something like Wanted Dead or Alive with a corral of booty girls with cowboy boots and hats dancing behind him and a glitter cannon finale. But perhaps that's overstating it a bit. My point is that in the big performance vs. big voice spectrum on talent shows, Americans tend to sit more on the big voice side, which is one thing that has kept Idol afloat all these years and one of the reasons why The Voice is popular over here.
What Simon should focus on for Season 3 is actually putting together a panel of judges that are likable, honest, and most of all, have a good rapport with each other. This is what Idol had back in its hey day (and to a lesser extent, in Season 10 when ratings stabilized instead of going down drastically), and what The Voice currently has. Once that's in place, the focus should once again be on putting in viable talent, which he did a decent job of for Season 2. If he wants to include drama, all he needs to do is let it unfold more naturally and it'll be received much better. But I guess we'll see. Sometimes I think Simon would do best for himself if he just let X Factor die over here until Idol and The Voice finally go down in flames. Then he could swoop in when there's a renewed interest in talent shows.
Fuck, I've written a lot.