Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul may have replaced their “American Idol” judging seats with spots on the upcoming “X-Factor” music competition series, but fans will be happy to know that the relationship between the two never seems to change.
“It is exactly like old times, which is both good and negative. There are times when I could literally throttle Paula, and there are times when I've had the best time of my life,” Cowell told FOX411’s Pop Tarts while on a recent photo shoot promoting the FOX show.
“She's just got that ability. She can be fantastic and the most annoying person in the world, in the space of five seconds. That's Paula, but she's been great,” he said. “I love having her on the show and she's been a really good judge. I think the chemistry with her and Nicole Scherzinger is great.”
Cowell, who earned his reputation as television’s most caustic critic on "Idol," also assured us that he won’t be letting up just because he is in a new judging seat.
“The point about trying to make a reality show is that you have to be real. This is what I'm like in real life, if I hate somebody, I say I hate them and if I love somebody, I'm happy to say I love them,” he said. “But to sit there and pretend that mediocre people are going to be stars is just ridiculous. So, you'll see a lot of that kind of honesty on the show.
“There have been some people along the way, we call them ‘DOAs’ – Dead on Arrival,” he said. “Cute girls who walk out, Sylvester the cat, Tom from ‘Tom and Jerry,’ and we don't want them in the competition."
Still, Cowell says we can expect to see some serious singing talent – particularly from the more mature hopefuls.
“Where we are now, pretty much everyone I would have wanted to be in the final stages of the competition is still in the competition, and it's going to be a real competition,” Cowell added. “I am impressed. I had no idea what we were going to find, but I am quite confident that we may have found more than one star.
“And what's interesting is that it's not just the young kids, which we expected good things from, it's the people in the older category who I was slightly concerned would be a bit old-fashioned and not relevant. But, the older singers have a real chance of winning this competition. I think we've done well.”
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay