5 Reasons We're Excited for 'The X Factor'

Premiering tonight on Fox, Simon Cowell's new pet project is landing stateside -- and "of course" he wants to take Idol down!

Simon Cowell has some seriously high expectations for The X Factor, the British singing competition he's bringing stateside tonight at 8 p.m. ET. He's said that if the Fox show doesn't draw 20 million viewers, he'll consider it a bust. Well, we know we're tuning in. Here's why:

1. We're finally going to get a definitive answer to the question: How is this different from American Idol? "They are very, very, very, very different shows," Cowell told Piers Morgan on Tuesday. Yeah, yeah. We've been hearing that a lot. Now let's see the goods!

2. The Paula Abdul-Simon Cowell reunion! It's been three years since we've watched these two go at it -- and that spicy dynamic was a key element in Idol's success for eight seasons. Also, we can't wait to find out whether Abdul's comments to Ann Curry on Today are true: "He has warmed up a little bit," she said. "I've seen him soften up. And I sometimes have to take a double look. And he goes, 'I know, I know. I'm crossing over to your side, a little bit.' He's in his element, and it's rather charming."

3. There will be two crazy, kooky ladies sitting at the judging table. There's Paula, of course. And then there's Nicole Scherzinger, who's already built up a reputation as an emotional and talkative live wire. Plus, Cowell says she's been known to change her accents randomly.

4. Everything about this show is meant to be bigger and better than the competition. Cowell says that the "no limit" age range means that viewers will see "a very different type of contestant." At a cost of $5 million, The X Factor is the most expensive show on television, according to TV Guide. And even in the beginning, contestants audition in arenas with audiences in the thousands.

5. After ten seasons as the face of American Idol, Cowell risked his career and reputation when he exited that show to launch this one. And now he plans to bring Idol down. "Well, of course! ... I mean, you don't do anything for the silver or bronze medal, do you? I put my heart and soul into this show, and I believe in this show" he told Morgan. On the other hand, a lot of people are betting against him. "There are so many people, you know, dying for you to fail,” Cowell told Matt Lauer on Today. “You will see the most ginormous fireworks displays in L.A. if this show bombs…[but] personally I don't think it will fail."

Let the showdown begin!

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