Just hours after Simon Cowell's former show, "American Idol," welcomed Mariah Carey as its new judge, Cowell appeared at the television press tour -- via satellite -- to tout "The X Factor" and its own rookie female judges, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato.
So how does he size up the newcomers so far? Well, Spears is "quite mean," he said, and Lovato is "a brat."
Cowell, Spears and Lovato, along with L.A. Reid, are in Miami for the "boot camp" portion of the show, which launches its second season this fall.
Addressing her decision to join "The X Factor," Spears said she began talking it over with her makeup artist, who also worked with Cowell.
"I was such a fan of the show and it made sense," she
Likewise, Simon is a big fan of Spears.
"I was fascinated with her as a person and a pop star," he said. "There's something intriguing about her. And she's a really good judge."
Viewers, of course, will have the final say about that. In the press conference, at least, Spears by no means, came across as a great orator.
Lovato, in fact, proved to be more articulate and expressive. And it became clear that she will replace Paula Abdul as Cowell's top sparring partner. In a preview clip, Simon is shown interrupting her during an audition critique.
"Can you let me finish? Lovato snaps, before explaining to the contestant that "He's old and impatient."
Both Reid and Cowell described the females as "tough" judges.
"They're harder to please than me and L.A.," Cowell said. "They're very comfortable saying 'no.'"
As for Carey, he wonders if she'll have what it takes to shine as a great judge on "Idol."
"I'm happy for her," he said. "But I think she's going to find it difficult to say 'no.' She's sweet."