Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Photo: LA Reid Kisses Paula Abdul at the Fox Fall Eco Casino Party in Los Angeles on September 12, 2011

Can you hear our feet impatiently tapping? We’ve been counting down the days ‘till the premiere of The X Factor pretty much since the show was announced, and finally the long-awaited date -- September 21 -- is almost here. The original British version of The X Factor has been a huge hit across the pond for years, and we’re expecting the American edition to be just as much of a phenomenon. As hardcore American Idol fans, we know there’s a lot about the show we’re just going to love, so here are our top 5 reasons that Idol fans should check out the Factor!

5. Paula Abdul. A little Idol/X-Factor crossover (x-over?) Longtime American Idol enthusiasts know that Paula provides serious entertainment behind the judging table. Whether she’s losing her mind over an incredible performance or bickering with a particular fellow judge (oh, and we’ll get to that guy later, don’t you worry), Paula’s like a sweet, slightly crazy aunt who you just can’t help but love. We missed her on Idol the past few years and can’t wait to be reunited with her on The X Factor

4. Cinderella stories. Just like on Idol, ordinary people are given the chance of a lifetime to become superstars, and who doesn’t like to see a Regular Joe or Jane make good? There’s just something so warm and fuzzy about watching a bartender or a single mom or a high school kid celebrating their win under a blizzard of confetti. Oh, and don’t forget: on The X Factor, the stakes are higher than ever, because the winner gets a five million dollar cash prize. Five. million. dollars, y’all! Forget the fame, that’s some serious bank.

3. The judges are also mentors. How many times have you watched Idol and been frustrated when the judges rag on a contestant but don’t give them any useful advice? Approximately a million, right? Well, here comes some sweet relief. On the Factor, each judge is assigned a group of contestants who they help with song choice, styling, and staging their performances. We’re excited to see how the judges polish their diamonds-in-the-rough to a sparkling, TV-ready shine.

2. Talented performers. Sure, some folks tune into Idol for Ryan Seacrest (a totally valid life choice, we think), or the judges, or just to watch the bad auditions. But we believe most Idol fans do it for a love of great musical performances, and the Factor promises to deliver with a bigger talent pool than ever! Not only does this show allow groups instead of just individual performers, but there’s also no upper age limit, which means some seriously seasoned musicians might just make the cut.

1. Simon $%^&ing Cowell. We love American Idol, okay? We love it! But without Simon Cowell, we love it just a little bit less, and we don’t think we’re alone here. The snark! The sarcasm! The brutal honesty! We’re so excited for the return of Simon Cowell to our TV screens, we don’t even have words. And we always have words, so that’s hardcore excitement, Wetpainters!

So what do you say, Idol fans? Will you be tuning in to The X Factor on Wednesday?