Reality Rocks - Archive

Backstage with Simon, Paula & Nicole at the ‘X Factor’ Premiere

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

On September 14, Simon Cowell's new show "The X Factor" held its splashy premiere at the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood, and if the excited reactions of the popcorn-munching patrons in the theater were anything to go by, the show is sure to be a hit. That's probably why Simon and his fellow judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger seemed so smiley when they spoke to reporters on the red carpet right after the screening. (Perpetually straight-faced judge L.A. Reid was missing in action, but I assume he was pretty pleased with how things went, too.)

Simon discussed female contestants' chances on "X Factor" versus "American Idol" ("Right now I've got my money on a girl winning on the show"), the decision to include ousted judge Cheryl Cole in "The X Factor's" first episode ("I think she'll be surprised at how much we've shown; everyone thought we were going to edit her out"), L.A. Reid ("When he was running a label and I was running a label, he was the most competitive person I'd ever met in my life; that's why I wanted him on my show"), having no regrets about leaving "Idol," reuniting with his old pal Paula, and why he thinks a girl will win "The X Factor."

Paula, meanwhile, returned Simon's love, gushing, "I always like going head-to-head with Simon. I learned from the best, remember that!" And Nicole, who sof ar seems to be angling for the role of "nice judge" (or least the most teary-eyed) on the show, discussed why her background as a reality contestant on "Popstars" makes her especially empathetic.

See more of Simon and the gang when "The X Factor" premieres on Fox Wednesday, September 21.

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