More than a year after bidding American Idol adieu, the new preview for the upcoming series shows the acerbic judge in, yes, a soft pink sweater as he applauds the spirit of a pint-sized prima-donna singing "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow."
"It's not about me anymore. It's about them," Cowell says in a voice-over as he... struts down a red carpet! "I want to make people's dreams come true. I even think about the environment. My attitude this year? Helping others make a better tomorrow."
But don't worry kids, it's only a horrible nightmare. Cowell wakes up and the commercial cuts to shots of him in his signature too-tight black T-shirts ripping hopeful singers to pieces by calling them everything from "horrific" and "diluted" to "arrogant" and "obnoxious."
Not only is Cowell's signature judging style back in fine form in the new promo, but so is his love-hate relationship with fellow judge Paula Abdul. One minute the odd couple are in agreement on a contestant and the next, she's throwing water in his face!
As Cowell asks the camera, "What else did you expect?"
Watch the full preview here:
The X Factor premieres Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 8/7c on Fox.