Simon Cowell on 'X Factor' Judging Lineup: "I Do Like Difficult Girls"

"Simon's Angels"? Not quite. The X Factor head judge likes being surrounded by three strong women on the panel this year.

"Simon's Angels"? Not quite. The X Factor head judge likes being surrounded by three strong women on the panel this year.

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When X-Factor returns in September, get set for a very different look and attitude thanks to a revamped judging panel. Joining returning judges Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato are newcomers Kelly Rowland and Latin superstar Paulina Rubio. And while first appearances might indicate Simon has finally found his 'Angels,’ he admits it’s actually a very different story.

“It does look a little bit like that, doesn't it,” Simon tells In Touch of the new panel. “But they are little devils. I do like difficult girls. The more difficult the more I like them. And here I have met my match.”

“It’s Simon's demons,” says Demi. “That seems to be what he thinks right now,” adds Kelly. “We give him so much hell, but we have fun. We have a lot of fun.”

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And judging by the second day of auditions in Los Angeles yesterday, they certainly were having fun. There’s a real sense of camaraderie between the judges this season, and a lot more sassy playful interaction than we saw last season. But don't worry: Demi and Simon are still at each other's throats. He even introduced her to the audience as "Super Brat Demi."

When one hopeful contestant encouraged Simon to take up modeling, Demi replied, “he did, like 100 years ago.” That newfound judges interaction didn't stop at the judges' table either: Kelly even hopped up on stage to teach one lucky contestant how to Twerk – and quite well, we might add.

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But just how outnumbered is Simon this season?  “It's three to one, ” he points out. “But I knew what I was getting myself into and it's been fun. I've done this for 12 years now, always normally with 2 guys and 2 girls, and I just thought 'You know, I can't do this again. I have to do something different.' We had this idea a couple of years ago; to do me and three girls, but it took a good while to get everyone to agree to it.”

“It has to be sexy,“ says Paulina, something Simon is quick to agree with. “It does, and it has to be the right combination.” One thing is for sure - being in the minority has given him a new appreciation of his former co-judge Paula Abdul. “I do have a little more sympathy for her now,” he says with a smile.

Season three of X Factor debuts on Fox in September.

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