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Watch: Simon Cowell talks 'X Factor' with HitFix
Cowell talks Paula, Justin Bieber, Rebecca Black and how 'X Factor' is different
It's been 20 months since Simon Cowell appeared at the Television Critics Association press tour to announce that he was departing "American Idol" and that a FOX version of "The X Factor" would premiere in the fall of 2011.
"The X Factor" will finally launch on Wednesday (September 21) night on FOX and for many, the show's format and its differences from "Idol" remain a bit of a mystery.
Fortunately for FOX, then, the x-factor in this new singing competition's success is likely to be Simon Cowell himself. And Cowell, of course, is as well-known a quantity as there is on television.
I sat down last week with Cowell, who serves as judge/mentor/producer/creator on "The X Factor," to talk about transplanting his British smash to American soil, a conversation that touched on Paula Abdul, Justin Bieber and why "X Factor" will be able to dodge the rut that recent "Idol" winners have fallen into.