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Last Updated: Tuesday August 17 2010 06:11 GMT

X Factor judges 'overshadow' the contestants

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell says the X Factor judges have become the stars of the show instead of the contestants.

The new series starts on 21 August and features guest judges in the audition stages because Cheryl Cole was ill with the tropical disease malaria.

Simon said: "Sometimes... the judges' personalities are being talked about more than the contestants."

He reckons they need to remember that they are on the show to judge, and the real stars are on the stage.

Cheryl Cole
Cheryl missed the auditions but will be on the main show

Simon added: "The judges are there for their opinions, so for me the most important criteria for sitting on a judging panel is, do you actually know what you are talking about?"

The good news for Simon is that Cheryl is expected to return to the main show when it starts later this month.

'Louis in love'

One guest judge who's become a big hit with Simon and Louis is former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger.

"Louis has fallen in love with Nicole. I've never seen Louis as happy as he was this weekend," said Simon.

"He was like a lamb in springtime and didn't stop smiling - I can't imagine why!"

BGT 'going global'

Simon has also confirmed that he's going to make a global version of Britain's Got Talent where different countries compete against each other.

He said: "I like the idea of England taking on other countries. After the Eurovision disaster, we have got to do something."