NEWARK, N.J. - At auditions filmed Thursday before a live audience for "The X Factor," Simon Cowell seemed to want people to move on from the shake-up on the show's judges panel replacing British pop singer Cheryl Cole with American counterpart Nicole Scherzinger.
"It wasn't really such a big deal as everybody thought. . . . Truth is you've got to move on. It's about the contestants. They've got no interest in us bickering," Cowell said at the auditions in New Jersey.
Earlier in the week, Fox and producers announced Cole was out and Scherzinger, who originally was signed on to co-host the show, would slide over to the judges table alongside Cowell, Paula Abdul and L.A. Reid.
He said the show will not re-tape episodes already filmed that feature Cole.
"Show it. I mean it's reality TV. There's no point in lying about it," he said. "It is what it is."
Cowell said it was a no-brainer to slide Scherzinger over to the judge's table when the position opened up.
"I've worked with Nicole before. I think she would have killed me if I had given the job to someone else. She's very good at this. You know, she knows what she's doing and so it was an easy transition."
Cowell left "American Idol" in May 2010 after its ninth season. He said the absence from American TV has been good.
"I realized how much I missed working here in America. I really, really love making shows here," he said. But "the gap's been good for me because I appreciate it more now."
It seems as if distance has also been good for Cowell and Abdul's working relationship. Abdul sneaked up behind Cowell as he greeted fans at the Prudential Center and in turn he gave her a hug and a kiss.
"[The honeymoon period] is still going on, which is really frightening," Abdul said. "It's kind of weird and awkward . . . he's actually, kind of, shall I say, nice?"
The U.S. version of "The X Factor" will premiere on Fox in September.