Opinion Brief

The X Factor preview: Is Simon Cowell's new show a winner?

The former American Idol judge gives audiences a (satisfyingly harsh) taste of his new Fox singing competition — and gets in a few jabs at his alma mater

The video: Room on TV for yet another American Idol-style singing competition? Simon Cowell is adamant there is. Fox aired a two-minute preview of his The X Factor during Tuesday night's baseball All-Star Game. (Watch the video below.) Premiering this fall, the adaptation of a British series stars Cowell as a judge in his first American TV gig since leaving Idol in 2010. Joining him on the panel: Another former Idol judge, Paula Abdul, along with record executive L.A. Reid and Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. The promo kicks off with a "not-so-subtle parody" of the "warm-and-fuzzy" judging that has plagued Idol since the acerbic Cowell decamped, before revealing footage from The X Factor's auditions — showcasing Cowell in abusively honest form. As Cowell quips, "What else did you expect?"

The reaction: "Game on!" says Kyle Buchanan at New York. From swipes at Idol's "half-soulless judging panel" to previews of Cowell's soul-crushing one-liners, the dramatic clip is a successful tease. It doesn't matter that The X Factor trailer barely features the show's contestants. With Cowell, the show "already has its superstar." Not so fast, says Shirley Halperin at The Hollywood Reporter. Reality competitions live or die based on their contestants. "We’ll see how the talent truly shakes out when X Factor premieres this September." See the trailer:

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