Last year Strictly Come Dancing trumped The X Factor when it came to the shows' ratings, but Simon Cowell is confident that won't be the case this year. The music mogul said at the ITV show's London launch on Wednesday: "This show does feel better, the talent's great, they're interesting, so if it's us versus Peter Andre, I'm going to put my money on us."
He added: "I have really had a good time this year. You want judges who want to judge the talent and actually want to find an artist - that's what I noticed when I was working with these guys, and with Olly and Caroline.
"It is like being on a new show. It's been fun. I have had my moments with Madame (Fernandez-Versini), but overall I've had a really good time this year. It's been unpredictable."
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 alongside Simon and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.
The 12th series of the talent contest will also see former Xtra Factor presenters Caroline Flack and Olly Murs take over hosting duties on the main show from Dermot O'Leary, while The Saturdays' Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom will give the spin-off a new look.
Former judge Louis Walsh won't be taking to the panel this series, having had a judge's seat there since 2004. "The good thing about Louis is he's going to be able to go to bed earlier. He can watch the show in bed in his PJs and he can call me after the show," Simon quipped.
"We've got a couple of seats in the live shows - restricted viewing - but I'm looking after him. Maybe we'll make him Judge of the Week one week or something."