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The X Factor

Will The X Factor Fly or Flop?

Massive media attention? Check. Superstar judges and a monstrous $5 million prize? Check. Guaranteed success? Ehhhh… we'll get back to you.

There's no doubt Fox's The X Factor is the most-hyped series of the fall. Reuniting two of the stars that made American Idol a powerhouse, the network (and fans) have high hopes. But will The X Factor live up to the hype?

Will The X Factor Fly or Flop?
Credit: Ian Derry/Fox © 2011 Fox Broadcasting Co.    

Creator and judge Simon Cowell certainly hopes so, but even he admits it's nerve-racking to think about. "You're under constant pressure all the time," Simon told USA Today. "Anyone who says they're not is either a liar or an idiot."

Though The X Factor is a bona fide international sensation, bringing it to the U.S. is a gamble. With American Idol, America's Got Talent, and The Voice clogging the airwaves, is there room for another singing competition? Fox says hell yes, and it's all thanks to the man who'll be sitting next to Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, and Antonio "L.A." Reid at the judges' table.

"I know there's other singing shows, but I personally would never ever go into one of these shows unless I had Simon," head of Fox reality programming Mike Darnell told USA Today. "Ultimately, X Factor is a great format, but he's the star."

How does the star feel about the show's chances this fall? "I've suddenly become excited again," he said. "It's like going on a roller coaster. You're kind of scared, but you think you're going to have a good time, as well."

But Simon really thinks the show's success depends on the contestants' star quality. "I mean, after all this effort, if you can't find a star then we're all mugs (fools)," Simon told Extra.

Early buzz from those who sat in on The X Factor boot camp on July 23 is mega-positive. According to an Examiner reporter who was there, the 70+ contestants who survived to boot camp are incredibly talented. "Trust us, America: The contestants on X Factor are going to blow away current singing competitions as we know it. You won't want to miss X Factor, as Simon Cowell has found the best singers in the USA and more."

The X Factor premieres Wednesday, September 21, on Fox. Tune in to see if it lives up to the hype!

07.27.2011 / 12:59 AM EDT by Heidi Hurst
Related: The X Factor, Gossip, Simon Cowell

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