Simon Cowell Says 'X Factor' a Huge Step up From 'American Idol'

"It's like comparing your morning show with another radio show," the talent judge told Howard

Simon Cowell called in to promote the US debut of "The X Factor," telling Howard that it was a huge step up from "American Idol": "It's like comparing your morning show with another radio show."

Robin pressed for more, so Simon explained: "Attitude, Robin. Attitude. It's everything, to be honest with you...the kind of contestants it attracts, it's the way the auditions are feels like part of a new decade."

Simon also said he'd watched "maybe an hour" of "American Idol's" last season and saw some seriously soft judging: "It was like watching a show to everyone else. I didn't think that everybody was great."

But Simon did admit that he could be wrong sometimes, citing Lady Gaga as an example: "If she had walked in five years ago with a lobster on her head and started singing 'Let's Dance,' we would have turned her around."