The bigwigs of The X Factor — that is, the judges; not the contestants — are dishing about the upcoming season finale of the competition's inaugural season. Creator Simon Cowell, along with co-judges Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid, and Nicole Scherzinger, attended a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday with finalists Josh Krajcik, Melanie Amaro, and Chris Rene — one of whom will turn out to have that "x factor" everyone's buzzing about.

Cowell revealed at the conference that each of the finalists will perform a duet with a well-known musician on Wednesday's penultimate show this season, but the identities of those stars will not be revealed until airtime, reports Rolling Stone. What is known is that singers Justin Bieber, Pitbull, and Ne-Yo will be appearing on Thursday's actual finale, in addition to surprise guests.

With a few minor caveats, Cowell revealed that he is pleased with the American version of the show so far, as well as the caliber of his contenders. "I'm really proud of the top three," he said. "They're all amazingly talented and unique in their own right. They have a distinct competitive advantage: big on talent and loads of charisma."

As far as the show itself goes, Cowell acknowledged that some of the music choices may have been a bit too British. "I learned that I'm not American — that was a big factor of where I got things right and where I got things wrong," he admitted. He also talked about having previously overestimated the show's ratings. "I'm cocky by nature," he explained. "I'd come off a massive final in the U.K., I had the adrenaline, couldn't wait to put the show on here, and it's gonna take a little bit longer than I thought," he said.

Though there have been reports that one of the things Cowell regrets is the casting of host Steve Jones, who has been criticized for doing an uninspired job, there is no official confirmation that the Welsh television personality is being asked to leave, reports People. "There have been absolutely no conversations about Steve Jones leaving The X-Factor," his rep said. The show backed up the claim. "No discussions have been had and no decisions will be made about any contracts until the New Year."

Tune in to the top three finalists' performances on FOX at 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday night. Then see who walks away with the top prize of a $5 million recording contract on Thursday.

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