Call him mean. Call him nasty. Call him abrasive.
But Simon Cowell has a better word for himself: real.
"I used to wind Ryan [Seacrest] up about this when I'd get accused of being constantly negative," Cowell tells TV Guide Magazine. "I'd say, 'Remember all the people who cried in these auditions and you'd say, 'I'm going to miss you so much. I care so much about you.' Have you ever picked up the phone and said 'Are you OK?' The answer is never. It's all for TV. The difference with me is I have no qualms saying whether I like you or dislike you. I find it more unkind when you give someone false hope."Simon, of course, is out there promoting The X Factor, which debuts on Fox this Wednesday night. Why did he leave
"I was making a lot of money on American Idol, but I did X Factor because I genuinely felt this was a better show...[last season] was completely different. It was not the show I was on. They've gone friendly. I knew it would do well."
Are you excited for The X Factor?