(NEW YORK) — The third season of The X Factor begins Wednesday night on Fox, and this time Simon Cowell will be the only man on the judges’ panel.
Simon and holdover Demi Lovato will be joined by two newcomers: former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland, who was a judge on the U.K. version of the music competition in 2011, and Mexican pop star Paulina Rubio. Rowland and Rubio replace Britney Spears and L.A. Reid.
Lovato’s exchanges with Cowell last season on The X Factor were feisty at times, and according to her, that won’t change now that she has two women on the panel with her.
She says, “If people liked what they saw last year with me and Simon, they’re going to have so much fun watching it this year, because now it’s basically a whole panel against Simon. It’s really great.”
Lovato adds, “We’re not ‘Simon’s Angels,’ we’re like Simon’s little demons. It’s so fun.”
Rowland says the judges have been “having a blast” during X Factor tapings and are putting emphasis on making the show fun.
She explains, “I think that with some of these shows, like, the fun has been sucked out, like, what we originally saw.”
Rowland continues, “Everybody is a critic now, and they really aren’t, and I just think that’s it’s really important for people to see that America’s got talent, this is our talent growing here and we have to support them, especially if they’re darn good.”
Aside from the shakeup with the panel, The X Factor has made a few other changes for the new season. While Mario Lopez is back as host, his season-two sidekick, Khloe Kardashian, will not return. In addition, the grand prize has been reduced from a $5 million recording contract to $1 million and a recording contract.
The two-night season premiere of The X Factor kicks off Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Sarah Bringhurst, OK.com
Jim Bennett, Deseret News