simon cowell getty images Simon Cowell on why 'The X Factor' isn't a ratings giant: 'I think I probably came here a bit too cocky'It’s been a strong, but not stellar, first year for “The X Factor.” The singing competition with a $5 million grand prize wasn’t expected to beat out the juggernaut that is “American Idol” in terms of ratings. But the fact that a show featuring proven talent like Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul couldn’t score higher ratings than NBC’s “The Voice” was a shocker to many.

With the finale on the horizon, Cowell reflects on the first season of his new show during a Monday (Dec. 19) press conference.

Here’s what the meanest man on TV had to say…

On mistakes he made: “I think I probably came here a bit too
cocky. But I’m cocky by nature. I’d come off the back of a massive final
[of “The X Factor”] in the U.K., had the adrenaline, couldn’t wait to put the show on here.
And it’s going to take a little bit longer than I thought.”

On what he learned during Season 1: “I learned that I’m not
American. That was a big factor on where I got things right and where
I got things wrong…So I’m trying to think American.”

On changes he might make for next season: “It’s like any show. I never, ever finish a show thinking it’s the best I’ve ever done because you have to feel that you can get better.”

On future changes to the voting process: “If that week [when Rachel Crow was voted out] had worked in the way I believe the process should have worked…the judges actually could have saved her. The fact it went to deadlock, means the process didn’t work. But if everyone had done their job properly that week, then this format would have worked really well.”

On whether a group could do well in the competition:
“Within two years, a group will win this show. Because I think I know the kind of group that could win a show like this.”

On the finalists, Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene:
“This will be the greatest final we’ve ever been in – in terms of talent, that no one can call this show, the fact that all three of them are undiscovered…This is $5 million talent here.”

Posted by:David Eckstein