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Simon Cowell talks 'The X Factor': 'Old dog' Paula, 'fantastically self-centered' Nicole, and his plans to get the audience drunk

A rather jaunty Simon Cowell, who’s bringing a U.S. version of his British hit The X Factor to Fox on Sept. 21, talked to reporters Tuesday about his experience filming so far. “I would say the American audiences are more vocal,” he said. “When they like someone, they let you know. And they certainly let you know when they disagree with you. There were a few occasions when we had to — otherwise I may have gotten seriously injured — bring back certain contestants we’d said no to.”

Will this aggression stand, man? It will! “We did say to [the audience], you’re like the fifth judge here. So it was fun, and everywhere we went, the crowds were good. Better in the evenings, because you could feel that they were drunk. I might do that for the live shows — just make everybody drink.”

More from reality TV’s newest boozehound after the jump: READ FULL STORY

Simon Cowell believes 'X Factor' can top 'Idol'

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Can Simon Cowell’s The X Factor be the show that finally overthrows American Idol as the top-rated series on TV?

Cowell thinks so. Asked by a critic at Fox’s press tour in Beverly Hills if the U.S. version of the Brit hit can draw bigger numbers than his previous show, Cowell replied, “If I didn’t think we could — and it’s not just Idol; it’s any show — you don’t enter something for the silver medal. You do it because you want to be number one. And for the next few months, we’re going to shove everything at this to try and make it the best show on TV.”

Cowell made the remarks while appearing via satellite during an occasionally bizarre panel with his fellow Factor judges and producers. Executives announced Factor will have a special two-and-a-half-hour episode this fall — a rarity on Fox, which only programs to 10 p.m. — and said it would be a more performance-oriented show than Idol. “I wouldn’t have made the show unless I thought it would’ve been different,” Cowell said. “We see this as a game changer.” READ FULL STORY

'X Factor' official art -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK

It’s time to face the music, people. Seeing Paula Abdul alongside Simon Cowell again is just too good to resist!  Or is it?

We will know on Sept 22, the day after the much-anticipated (and much-ballyhooed, yes we know) talent show The X Factor premieres on Fox. Will the ratings be Idol-worthy? Will Paula’s hair look as full and as lustrous as it does it in this photo? Will that gal from the Pussycat Dolls convince us that she made a better judge than Corbin Bleu, that cute kid from High School Musical?

Let’s reconvene then, shall we? Here’s the art: READ FULL STORY

First 'X Factor' judges photo and preview: Simon Cowell mocks 'American Idol'

Aww, don’t they look all sweet? Below is the first official judges photo from Fox’s The X Factor, with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and that girl from the Pussycat Dolls, as well as a video preview. Don’t be fooled, the battle lines are being drawn. Cowell’s X Factor preview just debuted during MLB All-Star Game tonight takes a swipe at Fox’s own American Idol. See what you think: Is Cowell just spoofing the idea of being nice in this? Seems to us like he’s taking a shot at his former show: READ FULL STORY

Mariah Carey to mentor U.S. 'X Factor' contestants?

We’ve already heard word that Mariah Carey is expected to participate in Simon Cowell’s U.S. premiere season of The X Factor in some capacity. Now, sources are saying that Carey might stay on to mentor the contestants throughout the season.

A show insider told EW, “Mariah and Simon are great friends, and now [that] she has had her babies, it’s very possible that she will be involved [in] some way in the later stages of the show. She has always said she wanted to work with the show, so it’s something they will certainly be discussing ideas for soon.” READ FULL STORY

Fox announces 'X Factor' premiere date

Simon Cowell’s much-anticipated new music reality competition, The X Factor, will finally arrive on Sept. 21, Fox has announced. The show will debut with a two-hour premiere on a Wednesday night, to be followed the following night by another two-hour episode.

Fox also confirmed the premiere dates for its entire fall season, after the jump:

Saturday, Sept. 10
8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT              COPS (Season Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT              COPS (Encore Episode)

Sunday, Sept. 18
8:00-11:00 PM ET/                63RD PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS (Live Telecast)
5:00-8:00 PM PT READ FULL STORY

10 things we learned about 'X Factor' from last night's New Jersey auditions

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The X Factor returned to New Jersey on Wednesday for the first of two days of judges round auditions. EW joined an audience of roughly 5,000 for the day’s second taping at Newark’s Prudential Center, which featured 22 contestants. Fox told journalists to refrain from IDing performers and revealing their song choices, backstories, and comments to the judges, as well as quoting the judges’ critiques, so we’ll have to speak generally. But we were able to cull together the following list of 10 things you can expect from The X Factor this fall. READ FULL STORY

Simon Cowell explains Cheryl Cole's departure from 'X Factor'

Hours after it was confirmed that British singer Cheryl Cole would not be part of either the British or American version of The X Factor, Simon Cowell said the show’s producers believed their decision “would be beneficial to her, funny enough,” according to the Associated Press.

Yesterday, Fox and producers announced that Cole was to be replaced on the network’s version of the show by Nicole Scherzinger, who will shift from co-host to judge. Cowell dismissed reports that Cole, who had already been a judge on the U.K’s X Factor, lacked chemistry with fellow judge Paula Abdul or that her accent was a hurdle for American audiences. “She was good on the American show,” Cowell said. “I personally thought she was missing her family and friends. She just looked a little bit, I wouldn’t say uncomfortable, but just not as happy as I’ve seen her on previous shows.”

Cowell said he’d texted Cole that he assumes “full responsibility,” and that he hopes his friendship with her remains solid. “I always, always would hold the door open to work with her again,” he said.

Read more:
Cheryl Cole offered job back
Fox’s new X Factor trailer

Official: Nicole Scherzinger replaces Cheryl Cole on 'The X-Factor'

More crazy news from Fox’s The X Factor. It was announced today that Nicole Scherzinger will replace Brit singer Cheryl Cole on the judging panel for the singing show. She will join Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul in their search to find another “global superstar” or group who could ultimately win a $5 million dollar recording deal.

Nicole has previously joined Cowell as a guest judge on The X Factor for the UK version of the show in 2010. She had filled in for Cole, who was a U.K. judge, too.

Cole was originally announced as part of the show’s U.S. judging panel last month, participated in early judging rounds, then was seemingly booted off. Over the last few days, however, news emerged that she was being offered another role on the show. READ FULL STORY

Roundabout! Cheryl Cole offered 'X Factor' job back

The biggest X Factor in Fox’s version of the UK hit has been Brit singer Cheryl Cole, who was originally announced as part of the show’s judging panel last month, then was seemingly booted off, and is now being offered a role on the show again.

Here’s what we’re being told happened: Cole signed up with U.S. version of X Factor and participated in the early judging rounds. What went down next is the subject of some dispute, but one U.S.-based executive involved in the matter tells EW that Cole “wasn’t quite herself” during her four days of filming, potentially due to nerves or just feeling out of her environment with the new show.

Some reports have made it sound like U.S. producers basically booted Cole from the show because they were unhappy with her performance. Our source says was more consensual.

“After the Chicago auditions, producers suggested she might be happier returning to the UK panel and her management clearly indicated she’d be happy to consider that,” a source says. “It wasn’t meant to be the case she was ‘being fired.’ She was offered an alternative [to work on the UK version] for more money where they thought she might be happier.” READ FULL STORY

Fox's new 'X Factor' trailer

We were just writing about this. Well, not this trailer. This is much shorter than what ad buyers saw in New York City this week and lacks its judges panel scenes and their moments with the contestants. But it still gives you a broader look at Fox’s The X Factor. Check it out (Hey … did Fox really put ultra-Brit Simon Cowell up against an American flag at the end?). READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Kimmel mocks ABC, Kutcher, 'X Factor'

Jimmy Kimmel took the stage at ABC’s upfront presentation to advertisers Tuesday and once again skewered his network and rivals in a segment that ad buyers in the audience always enjoy:

ABC’s lineup: “Remember those shows we were so excited about last fall? We cancelled all of them. And yet here you are again. You might have a gambling problem.”

Fox: “Fox is getting ready to debut The X Factor. I think this is the best idea of 2002. It’s like American Idol meets a mirror.” READ FULL STORY

'The Voice' vs. 'X Factor': Fox says 'we have the gold standard'

Fox execs say The X Factor is their tentpole new show next season and its hardly a wonder: The series gives the network another potential American Idol, except this one will air in the fall.

But what about NBC’s The Voice? Its format is pretty similar, after all, and has done really well in the ratings. Does The Voice take away anything from X Factor?

“We feel we have the gold standard in Idol and X Factor,” Fox entertainment chairman Peter Rice told reporters on Monday. “And in Simon Cowell, we have the star of the genre at the pinnacle of his game. There’s excitement and buzz. We had more people [5,000] show up for auditions for Factor than we ever had for Idol. We’re going to schedule them and play our game.” READ FULL STORY

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