Simon Cowell Speaks on The X Factor Prize, Judges, Format and More

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It won't premiere until the fall, but Fox is already starting to push The X Factor.

A commercial aired for the upcoming competition during Super Bowl XLV, and producer Simon Cowell took part in a conference call with reporters yesterday, talking to us about the show's massive grand prize, among other topics.

On the $5 million prize: "The money rightly puts an enormous amount of pressure on people... it's a massive, massive risk. But it's also an incredible incentive."

Might Paula Abdul judge? "I'm a massive fan of Paula's. When you work with somebody as long as I did with Paula... we were friends 80 percent of the time and interestingly, we've been in contact (after 'Idol'). I'm not going to say on this call who we are going to confirm or not confirm, but we're talking to a number of people."

Why leave American Idol for The X Factor? "I got bored of just judging. I wanted to make a show where I, along with my fellow judges, help competitors on a regular basis... It's more interesting to me because I have a lot more to do with that. When you lose an artist, part of you has lost as well. You win when they win."

And that's the key twist: on The X Factor, the judges will have a stake in their own contestants, while still offering critiques on everyone else's each night. Two more changes from Idol:

  1. No age limit.
  2. Groups also permitted to compete.
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Simon Cowell Biography

New American Idol Judges
Simon Cowell is our favorite American Idol judge. He's sometimes mean, but always honest and entertaining. He also knows how to put Paula... More »
Simon Phillip Cowell
Full Name
Brighton, East Sussex, England

Simon Cowell Quotes

It was a little bit like Chihuahua trying to be a tiger.

Simon Cowell [following David Archuleta's attempt to sing a Chris Brown song]

I’d pack your suitcase.

Simon Cowell [to Jason Castro, after the former sung "I Shot the Sheriff"]