Here's what he had to say about the gargantuan grand prize:
"By putting up that kind of prize money, it's a massive, massive risk. But it's also an incredible incentive. I think it puts everybody, rightly, under an enormous amount of pressure. I didn't want to go into this show without a feeling a certain amount of pressure, because with pressure, you've got to find a star."
"I think if we can't find a global star, then I would say we failed. I can't put it any clearer than that. There is that person or that group sitting in America right now waiting to be discovered. [The money proves] we are genuinely, genuinely serious about this. We believe that there is somebody with that star quality out there."
We can certainly see you're taking this seriously, Simon. No question there.
Here's Cowell on X Factor judges:
"I wanted to do a show where judges could help competitors on a weekly basis. It's more interesting to me; it definitely gives me something more to do. When an artist wins, you win. It really does become an incredible competition with judges, in a way more than the artists, because we don't pretend to like each other."
"I have to put people on this panel who I genuinely think could be better than me, so it becomes a real competition. It is a very, very different principle. It's easy to make comments, but when you have to put together the entire performance yourself and your fellow judges are judging you, it's very intimidating."
"I've started to cringe over the years when I started to see people being booked as the mean judge and just being gratuitously rude for the sake of it. I just don't like that. I have my own style. I like to think I'm honest. I wouldn't sugarcoat something just to make myself popular, and I'm going to try and be consistent to how I've been over the years. That's the way I'm going to approach it."
And here's Simon on opening up the show to younger auditioners:
"I think times have changed. There are some incredibly talented young kids out there. We've started to see a trend of what kids this age are capable of doing. … They've got their own opinions; they know what they're doing. You look at someone like Willow Smith — here's a trend happening at the moment. I think it would have been wrong to exclude them."
All sounds very Xciting, Simon! We can't wait!
[Image via WENN.]