Is impending fatherhood turning Simon Cowell into a softie? A little, says his X Factor colleague, Demi Lovato. "He's [mostly] the same, but maybe he's gotten a little nicer this year," returning judge Lovato, 21, admits in a new interview of Cowell, who's expecting a baby boy with girlfriend Lauren Silverman.

Though Cowell, 53, may be expecting a son before too long, he still has to contend with an overload of estrogen on X Factor's judging panel, as Lovato has been joined by newcomers Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio. (Both Rowland and Rubio are well-versed in the art of reality competition judging: Rowland appeared on the eighth season of Cowell's U.K. X Factor, while Rubio judged Telemundo's La Voz Kids, the first Spanish-language version of The Voice.)

As Lovato explains, the X Factor's trio of lovely ladies can't help but keep Cowell on his toes. "It feels like a new and refreshed version of the show," Lovato says of the new panel of judges. "Paulina is a firecracker! You never know what's going to come out of her mouth. Pretty much everything she says makes me laugh."

Going into the FOX hit's third season, Lovato -- who recently booked an arc as Naya Rivera's on-screen love interest on Glee -- predicts she and her frienemy Cowell will continue to tussle during their critiques. After all, viewers have come to know and love their oft-contentious banter.

"This year, he's up against me and two other girls who don't put up with him," warns Lovato. "It's basically a whole panel against Simon -- it's great! We're not Simon's angels -- we're Simon's demons!"

The X Factor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on FOX.