Meet The New ‘X Factor’ Judges

Simon Cowell talks about Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio joining Demi Lovato on this year's panel.

Though he’s going to be someone’s dad soon, there’s nothing put-down playboy Simon Cowell likes more than being surrounded by beautiful women. He’ll get his last chance at TV bachelorhood this season on “X Factor,” 
 when he’ll be the alpha male on a judging panel that is otherwise all female.

When MTV News caught up with Cowell and the gang before Wednesday (September 11) night’s launch of season three of the U.S. edition of the show, he had nothing but high praise for his new charges. “Kelly did the U.K. show and she was amazing,” Cowell said of former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland 
. “Paulina, I’ve always wanted to work with her. I think she’s interesting,” he added of Latin singing star Paulina Rubio.

And, of course, there’s the sole returning judge, and Cowell’s playfully cheeky foil, Demi Lovato. “Demi was great last year and then the idea of putting the three together … we’ve never done that before, I’ve never seen that before. I wasn’t sure until we started filming, but it was great.”

After two seasons of middling ratings, “X Factor” shuffled the deck 
 one more time over the break after the departures of original judge L.A. Reid and one-and-done panelist Britney Spears 
. It was the latter high-profile choice that flamed out most spectacularly last season, as Spears failed to develop chemistry with Lovato or the rest of the panel, and, in general, didn’t provide enough of a personality spark to engage viewers at home either.

The change this time around, however, is apparent in Lovato’s attitude toward her new cohorts. “Having Kelly and Paulina on the panel has changed everything,” she said. “It’s just so much more energetic and fun and the chemistry’s incredible. I’m so excited to be working with them.”

In fact, Lovato said the three have become almost like sisters, with a sibling bond based on one key factor: “we all don’t put up with Simon, so that’s been fun.”

After the expected awkwardness of the first few days, Rowland said the quartet found their groove. “It felt really amazing,” she said. Rubio also raved about how much fun they’re having, predicting that you can feel the joy coming through your TV screen.

“We are there for that talent,” she said. “Most important to find that unique person that can become a superstar.”

Often guilty, never convicted. Serving 15 years to life at MTV News.