Simon Cowell: I've Always Been Fascinated by Paula Abdul
The X Factor judge explains why he wanted to work with his former American Idol colleague again
“I do really like people who disagree with me,” Cowell tells Redbook. “Probably my best friends in the world are the people I argue with the most, because they don’t always say what you want to hear.”
In fact, Abdul, 49, may be his perfect foil. “From the minute I met Paula, I was fascinated by her,” says Cowell, 51. “She’s a complex person, but – this is going to sounds very American – she’s got a great heart.”
Cowell, who’s counting down to the premiere of The X Factor on Sept. 21, says the show is different from its competitors because it features people of all ages – from 12 to 80 – who have fascinating stories.
“One woman in her mid-40s had gotten out of a horribly abusive marriage. When she sang, she was amazing,” he says. “We saw the 5,000 people in the audience all get on their feet. That’s more powerful than a 17-year-old who comes in and says, ‘I want to be a star.’ “