Simon Cowell

He can make or break careers and once boasted that he sells more records than Bruce Springsteen. That confidence helped make Simon Cowell a success as a former judge on "American Idol." Cowell's blunt opinions of a performance stood in contrast to Paula Abdul's mostly positive spin and Randy Jackson's typical middle ground. The bickering with Abdul and host Ryan Seacrest was also a highlight of the Fox series. Cowell has been a judge on British shows "Pop Idol" and "The X Factor," and he produces other contest shows such as "American Inventor" and "America's Got Talent." He will help launch the U.S. version of "The X Factor" in September.