Simon Cowell Says He Won't 'Compare' 'X Factor' To 'American Idol'

Cowell tells MTV News, 'The rules are off, basically,' when it comes to his new show.

Simon Cowell helped bring back America's love of a good reality-singing competition as one of the original judges on "American Idol." Now, he's preparing to bring another reality competition show, "X Factor," Stateside, and he says there's only one way to explain what it is.

On Monday, MTV News caught up with Cowell, who said his "X Factor" won't be like that other show.

"Well, I would say that I'm not gonna compare it to 'Idol,' " Cowell said. "It's started from scratch. It's a show that, first of all, has to be relevant; it has to appeal to younger viewers as well as older viewers. It should be representative of what's happening on the charts at the moment, but in a nutshell you can be 12 years old, you can be 50 years old, you can be in a group and the rules are off, basically."

With auditions set to take place beginning March 27 in Los Angeles, fans may be wondering how Simon will make the show appealing to American audiences.

"I've gone into it, first of all, that it is an American show and whatever happened on the U.K. last year is gone," he said. "This is an American competition for American contestants. From a pride point of view, they want to make this the best show they've ever done."

The judges, Cowell noted, will have a lot to do with the show's success.

"I have to make sure we have a lot of Americans working on the show to begin with," he said. "I've got to have people on the panel with me who can judge American talent because I'm 51 years old, I'm British and we've got people as young as 14 entering this competition. So I've got to make sure I've got people sitting alongside me who genuinely know what they're talking about so that we don't lose somebody in the audition process."

Are you eager to see what Simon does with "X Factor"? Tell us in the comments!