February 8th, 2011
09:48 AM ET

Simon Cowell's feeling nervous about 'X Factor'

It seems as if everything Simon Cowell touches turns to gold: the original “X Factor,” “America’s Got Talent,” “American Idol.”

But that doesn’t mean he’s not nervous about the fall premiere of Fox’s “The X Factor.” After all, $5 million is a lot of money.

“I think you should be nervous,” Cowell told reporters on a conference call Monday. “By putting up that kind of prize money, it’s a massive, massive risk. But it’s also an incredible incentive, and I think it puts everybody, rightly, under an enormous amount of pressure.”

As Cowell says, you have to put your money where your mouth is. And this British music executive is positive he can find a global superstar. It’s all about having that "x" factor.

“Is it the look? Is it the voice? Over the years recently you’ve seen a different kind of artist emerge. A good example of that is Lady Gaga – God only knows what we would have said to her if she had walked into ‘Idol’ three years ago with a lobster on her head. But she’s got it.”

In case you’re thinking, “Geez, Simon, do we really need yet ANOTHER reality talent competition?”… his answer is yes. And don’t even bother trying to compare “The X Factor” to “American Idol.”

“I suppose it’s rather like comparing, I don’t know, ‘Extreme Home Makeover' with ‘Jersey Shore,’” he said. “They’re both reality shows but very, very different. ‘X Factor’ has a craziness about it, has an unpredictability about it. I would say it’s more raw.”

The formats of the shows vary in several ways. Anyone over the age of 12 can audition for “X Factor,” either as a group or as an individual. There’s no age limit because, as Cowell puts it, you just can’t put a cap on talent. And prospective stars audition in front of a live audience of about 5,000 people.

The judges are also more involved in “X Factor,” each mentoring several finalists by helping them with their song choices, clothing style, etc.

“The reason we replaced ‘Idol’ with ‘The X Factor’ in the U.K. to begin with is that I got bored just judging,” Cowell said. “It’s an interesting thing to be judged as well as the competitor because when you lose an artist, you know part of you has lost as well. It really does become incredibly competitive between the judges… in a way they’re more competitive than the artists because we don’t pretend to like each other.”

Speaking of the judges, Cowell isn’t ready to announce who will be joining him on the panel. But he expects to make his final decision in the next three or four weeks. Right now, he’s encouraging anyone and everyone (with talent, of course) to come out and audition.

“There is that person or that group sitting in American right now, waiting to be discovered,” Cowell said. “I miss you guys. I’m glad we’re coming back.”

soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. jeatairvin

    sell louis vuitton imitation , just clicks away

    February 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robert Mineowitz

    corrections: Very few people of ages 35-100 will be allowed to remain in the final rounds (live finale).
    Stop all age discrimination. Younger and older categories are age caps.

    May 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Robert Mineowitz

    XFactor should be eliminated. The People in X-Factor should not be segregated by age at all in any of the rounds. Very few people of ages 35-100 will be allowed to remain in the final rounds. People should not be in separate categories. A person over 65 won't win! Age should not be asked at all. There should not be younger and older categories. Stop all age discrimination.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. XMan

    Well what do you expect?! He's on NZT....Side effects may include nervousness, stomach aches, dizziness, and death! http://bit.ly/hMZ10J

    March 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JulesinAtlanta

    Frankly I was worried about American Idol without Simon. I have been suprised to see how much better it is without all of his pompous behavior and his negativity. This year has been great. Mr Tyler and Mrs Lopez are fabulous TALENTED additions to the panel and have filled the "Simon hole" with positive energy. Imagine that!

    February 23, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. DanDanNoodles

    I just hope that one of the other judges is Cheryl Cole/Tweedy!

    February 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sean McKeon

    The reason he's nervous is because Steven Tyler is kicking Ass and he thought the show was over with out him.

    February 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Josh

    ...sitting in American?

    February 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Robert

    Why don't these guys just stay home!
    Don't we have enough talent here?
    England and Australia, who needs them.

    February 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dueche bag

    Great, everything you need to know about the show ( except whe nit airs) dueche bags

    February 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. k-fig

    I love the new Idol... it is a breath of fresh air... and I love Simon... I do look forward to his new show...

    February 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Serious Sam

    I think Cowels brand of humiliating humor is passé now....go away and take your negativity with you...,American Idol rocks without you!

    February 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Aeroman

    NODACK–if you think Tyler has been sober for 29 years you are the one who needs to get off the drugs and head to rehab. That guy is a whacked out junkie..........still popping pills.

    February 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. POD

    Another fresh turd floating down the stinking sewer stream that is "Reality Television"

    February 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. James

    If almost anyone can audition with any act, isn't this like America's Got Talent?

    February 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  16. mila

    12 year old kids competing for a 5 million dollar recording contract. seriously?? i feel bad already

    February 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  17. T-rex

    I like it when Simon nurses me with him big ole saggy hairy ManT*tties. MMMMM.

    February 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Chicago

    How can you people not be tired of this type of program? I won't waste a minute watching this garbage. What a tired idea. By all means, enjoy. I guess cattle need something to do...

    February 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Alli

    I have watched Idol since season 1 and thought I would hate this season but have been pleasantly surprised! I love Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez...they give good critiques and seem to genuinely care about the contestants. I will also try out Simon's new show and wish him the best of luck (he's a huge animal advocate!). What's with all the hate, folks? Try being positive for one whole day...it would be a huge change for most on here!

    February 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Tanya

    Calling a spade a spade, as Simon does, isn't for sensitive, thin-skinned people with little-girl mentality who would always scream that it's tactless and rude.

    February 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  21. tracy

    I have been watching Idol since the first show aired. It is so refreshing to have Simon gone. His humiliation of contestants went too far. The judges now are highly experienced and know what they are doing. Steven Tyler may be a recovered addict but he still has the talent that made him an icon. I think we will be seeing Idol for many years to come. As far as Simon's show, if he speaks to 12 year olds in that sarcastic manner he may have parents leaping from the audience to kick his butt!

    February 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Marco555

    When will these guys ever learn? After your big run in American TV, you're done. A cooked goose. No moa fo you, as they say at the Chinese buffets.

    February 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  23. kent

    didn't ed mcmahon already host this show?

    February 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  24. ficheye

    comment disappeared

    February 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  25. justin williams

    With or with out simon they are not bringing any talent anywhere. through out the years of idol some of the people they let go off of idol were the ones that needed to have a record deal and age dont matter if u can sing give it a chance if not stay at home. thats why idol sucks they let idiots on there. listen to urself before u humiliate urself the world has enough humiliation as it is ( like our government) its not really the judges they got theres they really dont care if u make it or not its the world in the end with the final decision so stop humilitating urselves on national tv

    February 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  26. T-rex

    I would let him do the tea bag drop into brownblaster..

    February 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  27. ChristyinFL

    Idol is SO much better this year without Simon! He's so rude and shows no tact in offering constructive criticism. Tyler and JLo have brought new life to Idol! So much better than Simon, Paula, Ellen or Kara!

    February 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Al

    This freak should be banned from TV. He is an idiot.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Ted Ward

    Best luck to Simon in his new venture ! I must say, though, Simon needs a makeover for his own personal look. The dorky hair, way too unbuttoned white shirt, or way to tight moobs black tee shirt, all need to go ! A new look is needed for the new show. We're tired of the old Simon look, which really isn't all that cool. The look must be as cool as Simon is.

    February 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Mike

    The UK press has already announced that Cheryl Cole will be a judge. However there is no way this show will be any better than American Idol, which is already just a karaoke contest that hasn't produced any stars since...god at least 5 years ago?

    February 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  31. lee

    Idol blows!

    February 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Poolchick


    February 8, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  33. AJ

    If I said 'I do', would it matter or would you still take the time to leave whiny comments?

    February 8, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  34. Cat

    Good bye American Idol. Worst season ever!

    February 8, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Nodack

      I totally disagree. Simon gone is the best thing for he show. I love the new judges. I was tired of Simon humiliating the contestants for his own pleasure. That's just rude.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • pippin

      Isn't that why we watch it? I have never heard Simon tell someone with genuine talent that they can't sing.

      February 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • pippin

      nodeck: Isn't that why we watch it? I have never heard Simon tell someone with genuine talent that they can't sing.

      February 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Peter

    Hasn't this Limey done enough damage to American pop culture?

    February 8, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • pippin

      No, he's helped it! I have been watching X-factor for 4 years now on the computer and we love it. It is going to sink Idol as it did in England.

      February 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Will

    I don't think he has much to be nervous about. American Idol is utterly unwatchable without him, and his new show will blow it out of the water.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  37. Will

    Apparently you, because you took the time to click on it and comment you knucklehead

    February 8, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  38. Steve

    American Idol is a joke this year. You got young people (Come on. 15 year old kids now on the show.) who still have a lot of growing up to do. I always thought that there was age discrimination on the show (Age limit is 29). You got a former drug addict, Steven Tyler, (who has done every kind of drug you can think of including sniffing paint chips) and a Diva, Jennifer Lopez, (who demanded more money than any other judge who has ever been on the show) who are suppose to be role models for our young people. I blame the show producers for the crap we got to watch on television now. It’s what you call a ratings war. Also with all the blatant advertising we are force to watch (the stupid musical car ads) the bottom line is the American Idol show producers want to see how high the ratings will go and how much money they can make. With Simon Cowell new talent show, you actually have all and any age of contestants trying to perform in different categories for a huge cash prize. I hope Simon show does really well and American Idol bites the dust.

    February 8, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • EARL

      You criticize Idle for allowing 15 year olds and praise Simon who is allowing 12 year olds. Very interesting!

      February 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nodack

      Steven Tyler is and has been completely sober from all drugs and alcohol for longer than any of the contestants have been alive. In fact they don't allow any alcohol to be served at any Aerosmith concerts.

      You don't like them having advertisers on American Idol? Name me one show on TV that doesnt have advertising?

      15 is too young to have talent. The most popular guy around right now is Justin Beber who is quite young himself.

      Of course J Lo and Tyler want to get paid. Do you show up for your job and work for free? I doubt it.

      February 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • talent_fan101

      GO X Factor!!! idol stinks like an overused and underserviced port-a-potty. X Factor will kick idol's rating butt.

      February 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJ Shaw

      Steve – You're just a downright jealous azz. You talk about Steven Tyler's past drug use as though it should condemn him for life. What kind of man are you anyway? Sounds to me like you're a lonely, judgmental, uneducated semi-man.

      February 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • MG

      OMG, you just aren't very smart. Fox which airs Idol is also airing X-Factor. Do you really think for a minute ratings will be less important on X-Factor than Idol? It's all about the ratings and the almighty dollar.

      February 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  39. El Jefe

    I suppose that feeling nervous about being buggered went out the window many moons ago for him.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      "With Simon Cowell new talent show, you actually have all and any age of contestants trying to perform in different categories for a huge cash prize. I hope Simon show does really well and American Idol bites the dust."

      LOL! What a hypocrite! "all and any age of contestants" yet you complained about 15 year olds competing on Idol? If you hate Idol so much, don't watch it then. If you hate the commercials, why are you watching them? Stop whining and complaining. Idol may not the success it was when Simon was a judge, but I don't think it will bite the dust either. Hell, Simon's new show might just bomb!

      February 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Sshay

    Love Simon, I miss him. He makes the show, without him it's rather bland. Yuk!

    February 8, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  41. T-rex

    It is going to ROCK ! I hope Simon will wear his black tee shirt. He is dreamy !

    February 8, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  42. daniel

    This show is gonna be awesome. I watched the British version and this is going to be even better. Can't wait!

    February 8, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  43. Eddie King

    Say, Eddie King really likes "Simon Cowell's feeling nervous about X-Factor"...

    February 8, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |

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