He critiqued American Idol's wannabe singers for nine seasons, but don't ask Simon Cowell to offer a lengthy assessment on the show's newest judges, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.
"I haven't seen a full episode yet, I saw a three minute sort of recap last week," Cowell told reporters Monday of the 10th season of Idol, the series he bowed out of last spring. "From what I've seen and what I've heard, it all seems to be going well. I always thought that would be the case. What I was more concerned about was the ratings falling off a cliff, meaning that that whole genre is now over."
So why hasn't Cowell made Idol appointment television? He's currently across the pond in London, and told the Today Show's Matt Lauer he has yet to tune in due to a sheer time difference.
From the footage the former judge has seen, though, Cowell says Lopez and Tyler appear to be doing him proud.
"I think they're doing fine. They have a different approach to what I used to do, but the show had to reinvent itself. It's a different show than what we made before," he told Lauer when promoting the U.S. launch of his mega-smash U.K. series X Factor. "I left [Idol] on fantastic terms. I still talk to Randy [Jackson] and Ryan [Seacrest]. We're still good friends, but we're going to be competitive with each other, make no mistake."
And as the music exec assumes a seat on X Factor's judging panel when the series debuts Stateside this fall, he suggests his days of being the so-called "mean judge" may be over.
"I started to cringe over the years when I started to see people being booked as the so-called mean judge and just being rude for the sake of it. I don't like that. I have my own style," says Cowell, who endured the nickname "Mr. Nasty" during his years on Idol.
"I wouldn't sugarcoat something just to make myself popular and I'm going to try to be consistent," he adds. "People know what to expect if I'm on the judging panel, so I don't think things are going to change too much."