Hot Video: X Factor First Look, Featuring a Kinder, Gentler Simon...?!

At long last — and after a bit of tinkering with the judging panel — Fox has revealed a new video promoting the U.S. premiere of The X Factor, and watch out, because the first half of it is a bit trippy.

After a suspiciously muted (visually and tonally) opening segment, any concerns will be quickly assuaged, as front man Simon Cowell revs up his engine as well as his crippling critiques. There’s also a smattering of Paula Abdul, some leggy Nicole Scherzinger, some snark from fourth judge L.A. Reid, and Brit Steve Jones making like Seacrest.

Check out the cast photo, then continue on for the video:

The X Factor‘s two-night series premiere airs Wednesday, Sept. 21, and Thursday, Sept. 22, both at 8/7c. Press PLAY below, then tell us what you think in comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Andie says:

    Was that annoying 15-year-old from last season AI with the two-colored hair whose parents drove her cross country in the previews, or did I imagine her? I hope she wasn’t actually there.

  2. Blake says:

    I am just so happy to have Paula back sitting next to Simon. I’m watching for them alone.

  3. Elaine says:

    It is the anti-American Idol! Yesssssssssss. After the nightmare triad that was JLo, Steven and Randy …. this is one sweet smell of fresh air. BRING IT ON!

  4. Dave says:


    Will these shows please go away. Damn.

    • Mike says:

      It’s probably cliche’ to say at this point, but the shows do go away if you press Channel Up, Channel Down, or Off on the Remote. And if you have a DVR and/or a guide on your screen, even more options. Damn, indeed.

      You do get points for not using the word “EPIC” though in your post. Since that’s a smidge more overused than “FAIL”

  5. S says:

    hmmm i actually think i might just watch this!

  6. Kevin says:

    I smell EPIC FAIL. Just ask SING OFF and THE VOICE hoping NBC beats Fox when IDOL returns on January 2012.

    • Elaine says:

      Putting The voice and sing off in the same sentence tells me you know nothing about reality show competitive singing. Simon cowell was the reason American Idol became the hit it did in the first place. Absolutely and without question. Anyone who knows the history of that show will tell yu that. The other two pale in comparison. The current show pales in comparision to the original version, but continues to be a success running off the steam of the original setup.

      X-Factor is a huge hit around the world and it will be here as well …why? Because of the hoenesty and expertise of the judges; because the competitors are from a wide variety of ages and not restricted to “idol” types; because of the drama that comes from a 50-year old plain mman or woman who would never have achance tomake their singing dream a reality in the idol world seeing their dreams come true and winning over practically the whole damn world; because true idols aren’t about age restrictions and pretty faces, they’re about timeless talent.

      This show will fabulous. This show will teach YOU how it’s really done.

      Can’t wait.

  7. sarah says:

    Can’t waitttt!

  8. Denise says:

    Simon= plastic surgery/botox? What is up, he looks different around the eyes.

  9. Michael says:

    I don’t get it. How is this show different than American Idol?

    • maj says:

      it’s not… except there is no age limit and there can be duos and groups.

      • Mike says:

        Maj, I know what you’re saying but you kinda just contradicted yourself! But you did answer Michael’s question lol

    • Kari G says:

      I could be wrong, but my understanding is that they eventually get down to four acts, and each act is assigned to a judge who helps them pick and arrange songs etc… kind of like The Voice in that regard.

      • Saulo says:

        It’s very different. The judges choose together the top 8 boys ans top 8 girls under 25 years old, the top 8 groups and the top 8 singers older than 25. After that, the competition starts.

        The producers define which category each judge will be mentor of. After that, it’s time for the “Judge’s House”, where the contestants travel around the world and sing for their mentor and a special guest, who will decide who makes into the top 4 of this category – the group of the best acts who will sing live for America’s vote.

        The top 16 sing for the votes. Each week there’s a theme. Prepare yourself for the best shows you’ve ever watched. America decides the bottom 2, who will sing another song during the Results Show. The judges then vote and decide who goes home. If it’s a tie, then the person who received less votes is eliminated.

        The final is going to have 4 acts, but it’s not like The Voice, where each coach has one singer. Here you can have, for example, Simon with 4 acts in the final and the other judges with none.

  10. Melissa says:

    What I really took away from this: It seems odd having Simon and Paula with the Pepsi cups and not the Coke.

  11. leo says:

    goodbye j.lo with your mean spider eyes. in the words of randy jackson, the x factor is in it to win it!

  12. Volcfom says:

    I’m so pumped for this show! My only issue: why does being environmentally friendly have to be part of a nightmare? :-( Oh well, it was worth the shots with the awesome car I guess.

  13. Marcie says:

    Whew! For a minute there, I thought Simon had taken a drink from the JLo/Steven well! Thank God he’s back!

  14. Tyler says:

    The X Factor is so superior compared to American Idol. I always enjoyed watching the Britain version on YouTube way more than American Idol.
    The judges actually know what they are talking about and care about the singing instead of shameless self-promoting. The judges actually get the chance to know and care for the contestants.
    This is going to be the best singing reality competition ever. Even if it doesn’t beat American Idol.

  15. Ron says:

    Thank God for Simon. As cruel as he could be sometimes, at least he was, and will be, honest and unbiased in the critiques of the performers and performances.

    The three stooges on American Idol this year made that show a joke, and the brunt of a lot of criticism by, not only a large number of ordinary fans, but also people in the business who know what they’re talking about.

    I think the X-Factor will put AI to shame as a total production musical competition show. Randy Jackson always was just a third, or forth, wheel on the judges panel on AI, and the “judge” nobody listened too, anyway. So, as long as he is the “Senior” judge, sitting in the #1 chair, AI will continue to drop in popularity and significance, and I, for one will not be saddened, or surprised, when AI gets run off the air by The X-Factor, or gets forced into totally revamping their show with new staff (judges), new rules, and most importantly, new elimination procedures.

    The panel on this show, will not only be honest and professional, but will be extremely entertaining. And I mean that in a good way.

    I can’t wait for September.

  16. Vetle says:

    I’m interested to see if the groups will have a hard time here, like they have in the UK. A group has never won in the UK.