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!