For a self-professed egomaniac like Simon Cowell, it was the best day ever.
X Factor held auditions over the weekend in Los Angeles, and Cowell was left completely alone at the judges' table on day three—after Demi Lovato fell ill, Kelly Rowland had to leave unexpectedly, and Paulina Rubio had another prior commitment.
"This is the show I've always wanted to have," Cowell told the crowd. "Now I will be the only person making decisions. God is good!"
We were in the house when producers set up a chair for Demi, and then right before the show began, announced she wasn't able to make it—prompting the audience to erupt in a sea of boos. "Demi is sick, but as they say in show business, the show must go on," Cowell told the crowd.
Then, later on, without any warning, Rowland had to step out (announcing "something important came up"), leaving Cowell all by his lonesome at the judges' table.
"Welcome to my show, The X-Factor," he told a 50-year-old contestant, adding that this was his "dream show."
Unfortunately, the 50-year-old didn't have the voice to be a star. "Thanks for ruining my dream," Cowell cracked to the contestant.
So how is Rowland measuring up to dearly departed judge Britney Spears? Well, let's just say the woman does not hold back—and is not afraid to stick it to Simon. When Cowell called a 15-year-old singer "a little cocky," Rowland shot back, "You're cocky too!"
When a boy band made up of past Justin Bieber backup singers wowed the crowd, Simon began teasing Kelly about going on a date with one of the guys. "Keep it professional," she shot back.
Oh, and this just in, a romance tip: If you love someone, throw a pen at them! It's apparently a new form of affection according to Rowland, who had a habit of dancing in her chair and then throwing her pen onstage when she fell in love with a contestant. Ummm...interesting.
The X Factor returns Sept. 11, after a shakeup that included the loss of judges Britney Spears and L.A. Reid. Will you watch the new season?