Simon Cowell Sounds Off on X Factor and Paula Abdul

Prime-time television needs another talent competition as much as it needs another rule-breaking cop, unconventional lawyer or wacky neighbor. Yet Fox is launching a U.S. version of the U.K. hit The X Factor, in which unknown singers compete for the chance to win a $5 million recording contract. "What makes this different from all those other shows? Simon Cowell," says Nicole Scherzinger, one of the show's judges, along with Cowell, Paula Abdul and Grammy Award-winning producer Antonio "L.A." Reid. "He's like the Elvis of talent reality shows. And this will be like American Idol on steroids."

Cowell, who will earn $75 million per season, is not just a judge. He's also the show's executive producer and head cheerleader and spent much of the past year traveling around America trying to drum up interest in The X Factor. He explains why he likes this show more than American Idol and how he's learned to love former nemesis Abdul...


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