Simon Cowell: U.S. 'X Factor' Audience 'Tougher'


The U.S. version of the British hit, The X Factor, screened its first episode to a crowd of thousands last night, and to judge Simon Cowell, a man famous for his difficulty to impress, was pleasantly surprised by the show's passionate reception from American audiences.

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Begrudgingly, the notoriously nasty judge complimented the crowd during a Q&A panel Wednesday night following the screening. "You were tough, but I like you," he said. "I think the American audience was tougher than the English audience. I genuinely do."

Host Steve Jones credits the hard work of the entire X Factor crew for eliciting such a strong reaction from the crowd. "They cried in the right places, laughed in the right places," he beamed. "I think we put together something a little bit special this evening."

As for rumors Rihanna will make an appearance of the show? L.A. Reid neither confirms nor denies it, but does say "there is a strong possibility" she might be on the show. "We'll just have to wait and see."

MORE: British Invasion Takes Over L.A. at 'The X Factor' Auditions

Don't miss The X Factor when it premieres next Wednesday, September 21 on FOX!