X Factor Kiss
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Simon Cowell, American Idol

And for a moment, the world is as it should be: Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul are together again now that auditions for Fox’s X Factor have begun. EW’s Dave Karger was on the scene of the first taping Sunday, and in addition to describing how the audience protested one contestant’s dismissal with a “Bring her back!” chant until producers did, he also notes that during one break, Simon “lovingly petted” Paula’s hair. Ah. Speaking to Cowell before the taping, found out Abdul owes her reunion with Cowell to the media. It was while chatting with the press that Cowell realized, “Overwhelmingly, they wanted her on the show.” The reason he and Abdul get along so well is simple, according to Cowell: “When I’m bored, Paula’s like one of those toys, you know, you just wind up, and then I’ll just throw it on the floor for a minute and just play with it, and then I’m happy.” Watch the interview below.

Cowell also says he’d prefer his contestants behave like established artists — steely, ambitious, and cutthroat — instead of talent show competitors. “I don’t want all this ‘we’re all here to be friends’ and ‘we all love each other,’ because they don’t,” he says. “And stop talking in a weird way. Like, why do you talk about journeys and dreams? Even if I’m on a journey, I won’t say I’m on a journey…. It drives me mad.”

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Episode Recaps

Simon Cowell, American Idol
The X Factor
Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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