'X Factor': The Bitch Is Back!

paula simon judges x factor fox tv
Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid, Nicole Sherzinger and Simon Cowell at the Seattle Judging round of THE X FACTOR.
Ray Mickshaw / FOX

You know how sometimes a rock star will break free from the band that's holding him back, so he can make the solo album that will finally express his true artistic vision? And then it sounds exactly like the band? That's what's going on with The X Factor. It's Simon Cowell's solo record, but it turns out to be just what Porno for Pyros were to Jane's Addiction. He's got the same collection of risqué low-cut V-necks, and the same sour wit. But now that he's also the boss, he has even more reason to be contentious – like when one contestant drops his pants, Cowell sniffs, "I put 5 million dollars on the line here, and that appeared."

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Rob Sheffield

Rob Sheffield is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he writes about music, TV and pop culture. He is the author of two books, Talking To Girls About Duran Duran and Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time.

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