A few words with ...


Simon Cowell of "The X Factor"

Q: What is it about "The X Factor" that makes it more competitive?

A: I don't know if it's the money or the show, seeing people who want to compete in the real world. Something about this show that has shown me a competitive side that I have not seen in a long time. There is a real hunger, a real competitiveness and a massive work ethic to make them into better artists.

Q: You seem to love competition. Why?

A: I always loved the Olympics games, particularly the 100-meter sprint. You watch every great athlete, all they are thinking about is winning, winning, winning! I want every person in there because he wants to win.

Q: What is it with you and Paula?

A: She can be, at one point, totally endearing and within seconds the most annoying person in the world. I don't know if she does it deliberately. When we fall out, if one of us is resisting, it turns into a full-scale argument. She came prepared when she came to see me six months ago, and we hadn't made our mind up. She looked fantastic, fit and healthy, and did her research on the show and knew what she could contribute and sold herself to me. And the level of commitment and that crazy personality -- can't say no to her. I have never seen her in a better frame of mind.

Q: Why so much buzz for this?

A: Part of the reason (is) we have had so many people come to the auditions. (We) must have had 70,000 people, and they all Twitter now, and they started the buzz.

Simon Cowell of 'The X Factor' on Fox

Jeanne Tripplehorn of "Five"

Q: To research the role of Pearl, the sympathetic oncologist, did you meet with any breast cancer specialists?

A: I did meet with a woman oncologist, and she was so sensitive, and I said, "How do you do it? How do you remove yourself and not get involved?" And she said, "It doesn't always happen." She had such a great elegance. Doctors always give the worst-case scenario. Legally they have to. I said, "Do you cry with your patients?" And she said, "Yes, I do." She's a saint. It's good to know these doctors exist. Even if the doctor is a decent person, they have to protect themselves legally. I felt a little more confident knowing there are people like Pearl.

Q: Was this an emotionally draining movie to make?

A: When I thought about it, yes. I worked with all five characters. I thought it would be fascinating to watch these women work. It is sad to say, but it is rare to work with women directors. To work with five women in the span of a month and a half was special and lifted whatever weight of the subject matter to work with women. And women from the network would show up. It was powerful, the feeling of hope for women, for breast cancer. This is one of those rare experiences -- to be working with so many women. It could be really good or really bad -- like a romance novel. When I started talking to everyone, it became really clear it was going to run against type.

James Roday of "Psych"

Q: Your hair has always been a focus of the show, which returns Wednesday for a sixth season following the faux-psychic crime-solving adventures of your character, Shawn, and his pal, Gus (Dule Hill). How are the tresses doing today?

A: I'm not going to lie; there are good days and bad days. I never know which way it's going to swing. Today, it turned out well. I have no complaints.

Q: And how goes the show?

A: I'm still employed, still having as much fun as I've ever had doing the show. We are really the little engine that could. We've defied every expectation I ever had. If we went eight seasons, I would be surprised but not surprised.

Q: Will there be singing and dancing?

A: We promised a musical this season, and we lied. But the reason we lied is we don't want our musical to be s... . We're promising season seven now.

Q: You've done Bollywood already, so why not do a traditional musical? How about, for instance, "Camelot"?

A: I hear what you're saying, and it's not unreasonable.

Q: Couldn't Gus wear tights?

A: That's also a fair point. But Shawn doesn't need to put on tights. You don't mess with perfection.

Q: Why are you wearing a Tennessee Titans jersey?

A: I'm from Texas, and I was a Houston Oiler fan, and they moved to Tennessee. I stayed with my team, because I was from San Antonio, so I didn't feel loyalty to the city of Houston whatsoever.

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