Their bickering may be pushed for the cameras, but Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul's rapport is the real thing.
"She can be, at one point, totally endearing, and within seconds the most annoying person in the world," Cowell tells Zap2it.
The two resume their places behind the judges' table Wednesday (Sept. 21) on FOX's "The X Factor." Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid join them, and though the former Pussycat Doll knows something about winning talent contests - most recently "Dancing With the Stars"-- and Reid is an extremely successful record company executive, people are tuning into the season's most hyped show to see Cowell and Abdul together again.
"I don't know if she does it deliberately," Cowell says. "When we fall out, if one of us is resisting, it turns into a full-scale argument."
Cowell says he was delighted to bring her on board the show that's a massive hit in the U.K., and is in its eighth season.
"She came prepared when she came to see me six months ago," he says. "And we hadn't made our mind up. She looked fantastic, ft and healthy and did her research on the show and knew what she could contribute and sold herself to me. And the level of commitment and that crazy personality -- I can't say 'no' to her!"
"I have never seen her in a better frame of mind," he adds.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
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