The X Factor will return to screens on Saturday, when fresh recruits Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw will make their debut on the popular ITV show. But it sounds like long-standing judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is also making her comeback as a new person.
"I've got to be honest with you, Cheryl's the happiest I have seen her in years," Simon Cowell told press ahead of the launch. "She's a completely different person this year. I said to her the other night, 'You've got your mojo back.'
"She's really enjoying being on this show, it's not like a job, she's enjoying it and I think that's got a lot to do with Rita."
"Cheryl's the happiest I have seen her in years," said Simon Cowell
Simon added: "I know a lot of girls who know Rita and they all say the same thing, they adore her. She's got what Nick's got, she's incredibly welcoming and after they had their first meeting Cheryl called me and said, 'Oh my god, I think she's really cool, I like her.' I had them all over to my house for dinner one night and it was just easy. She's really good."
Cheryl, who first joined the judging panel in series five, returned Simon's compliments, saying: "We all respect him. He's been many years in the industry, seen all the changes and had a lot of success. You can't deny the guy's a genius. There's a level of respect there, it's not an age thing, even though we joke about it."
"You can't deny the guy's a genius," said Cheryl of producer and talent scout Simon
The 32-year-old star, who is married to Frenchman Jean-Bernard, also opened up about the age gap between Simon and the other judges.
"I think we are giving him energy," said Cheryl of Simon, 55. "We're teaching him new words. Rita's got her own little thing where she goes, 'Mash it up, mash it up, mash it up, boom.' Simon said last night, 'I'm going to mash it up!' He's cottoning on!"
"I know a lot of girls who know Rita and they all say the same thing, they adore her," said Simon of his new recruit
When asked if viewers would see a style war between Cheryl and Rita, the I Don't Care singer replied: "That for me has never been part of the show. For me it's about the contestants and the people singing on the stage that night, it's not about who I am wearing or what dress I'm wearing. I'm just going to focus on my contestants."
Lately Cheryl has faced criticism over her slender figure, but the star has taken it in her stride and continued to make one stylish appearance after another.
She addressed the weight loss concerns in public, telling The Mirror: "I work 12 to 14 hours a day. I don't even have time at the moment to exercise – and I don't need to either. It's nice that people are concerned, but honestly there's no cause for concern. You can see I am completely and utterly well and happy."