Everyone's anticipating the upcoming American version of FOX's The X-Factor, a show that has been wildly popular in the UK since Simon Cowell, 51, created it in 2004, inspired by its sister show, American Idol. Hollywood rolled out the red carpet for the premiere of the show Wednesday night at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome.

The audience, which consisted mostly of FOX employees, members of the media, radio show winners and fans, was kept waiting, as the screening was 90 minutes late. Quick-witted host Cowell had an explanation for this, however. "The reason that we're late, in the true tradition of reality TV, is that the guys who were making the show were an hour late," he said, reports Entertainment Weekly. "So they were editing the show literally until the last second, which is why we were all delayed. So, it better be worth it."

Former X-Factor host Cheryl Cole is being replaced by Pussycat Doll's Nicole Scherzinger, 33, and record executive L.A. Reid, 55, both of whom are already being lauded for their rocking chemistry with old favorites Cowell and Paula Abdul, 51, who got a playful pinch on the nose from her old friend on the red carpet after she zealously planted a kiss on his cheek. Welsh host Steve Jones is also getting a lot of attention for his Seacrestian suave style.

While rumors have been flying about a little competition that may verge on cattiness between beauties Scherzinger and Abdul, there's nothing but good-natiured sparring between Cowell and Adbul. With his characteristic snarkiness, he took a jab at his reunited cohost, remarking that The X-Factor "is about giving older women a second chance."

The American X-Factor premieres on FOX on September 21.

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