July 13th, 2011
04:10 PM ET
That sound you just heard may be the first shot fired in the "X Factor" vs. "American Idol" war.
In the forthcoming talent show's first promo, featuring all four judges - Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Antonio "L.A." Reid and Nicole Scherzinger - "X Factor" appears to be taking a jab at its Fox neighbor and rival.
Cowell, dressed in a pink sweater, is shown along with his fellow judges in a room, which looks suspiciously "Idol"-like, enjoying the mediocre auditions of tepid singers. Known for his acerbic comments and harsh judging on "Idol," the promo shows a kinder, gentler Cowell.
He and the judges have nothing but praise – perhaps mocking a common complaint among "Idol" fans last season that judges Steven Tyler, Jenifer Lopez and Randy Jackson were too nice.
In the promo, Cowell leaves the auditions by driving away in an electric car, the Volt, to show he is even sensitive to the environment.
"It's not about me anymore," Cowell says. "It's about them."
Before you start worrying that Cowell has lost his edge, the promo dissolves from a nightmare sequence for the "X Factor" creator, and viewers get a peek at footage from the actual auditions - at which point Cowell and Reid dole out some harsh criticisms.
"That was horrific," Cowell snipes at one aspiring contestant.
Check out the new promo:
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