Simon Cowell Talks Season 3 Of The X Factor: What To Expect

Ah, what’s that in the air? The smell of change coming to The X Factor for the talent competition’s upcoming third season? Yes, yes, that’s it. And when Simon Cowell led a panel at the Television Critics’ Association to discuss the show, he had plenty to say about what to expect next year — aside from what we already know (that Britney Spears and L.A. Reid have been replaced by Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio). As it turns out, Britney’s absurdly high salary wasn’t the only reason that she’s not returning for this round.

“It’s like having a dinner party,” he explained. “You invite people for dinner — and sometimes it’s fun and sometimes it’s not as fun as you thought it was going to be.” Yikes.

As for the $5 million recording contract that was dangled before contestants last year, it’s also gone, and replaced with a humber (but still pretty appealing!) one. “The prize is now $1 million,” he explained. “They still get a Sony recording contract.”

Also, expect to see some changes to the show’s format to mix things up lest things have grown stagnant over the course of the last two seasons: “I felt that what we were doing was similar to what other people were doing, and I had this impatience to get on to season three to do what I wanted to do,” Cowell said.

But even if they’re downsizing on The X Factor, there’s still no shot of Cowell jumping ship to return to his once-beloved American Idol. When asked about the likelihood of that, he said, “I can’t imagine the scenario. I just can’t. No.”

That settles that.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]