Simon Cowell returns to his "Mr. Nasty" roots in a recent promo video for his new FOX singing contest series "The X Factor."
The 52-year-old earned the nickname from British tabloids almost a decade ago when he helped launch what would become the network's most successful reality show, "American Idol." Cowell, one of three judges, was famous for his cynical, blunt and honest negative critiques of untrained or simply terrible singers.
Cowell quit "American Idol" after the end of the ninth season in 2010 and said on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in May that two years ago, as ratings began to decline, he became bored with the series. Cowell joins Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, record executive L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul, another original "American Idol" judge, on "The X Factor."
A recent promo, which aired on Tuesday on FOX during Major League Baseball's 82nd All-Star Game, begins with Cowell appearing to be impressed by a young girl singing "Tomorrow" from the musical "Annie" before him and the other judges, then declaring that he wants to make people's dreams come true.
Cowell then wakes up from what he calls "a horrible nightmare" and cue Guns n' Roses' cover of "Live and Let Die," because Mr. Nasty is back and nastier than ever.
Contestants are shown performing before the judges, while Cowell is unforgiving in his criticism, calling one "talented but deluded." Reid joins in, telling one person: "I wanted to slit my wrists."
"What else did you expect?" Cowell says in the promo with a wry smile.
The show is based on a series Cowell judged and developed in the United Kingdom. The new series debuts on FOX on September 21 and will offer its winner a $5 million record deal - which is reportedly the most valuable such prize among all past similar shows.
Check out a promo for "The X Factor" below.