The panel has been revealed, the dust has settled and now Simon Cowell believes the X Factor is finally on the right track. Besides the axing of Britney Spears and La Reid and the addition of their replacements Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio, there are several changes to the show format this season as well.

Simon Cowell, Jimmy Kimmel Live
Cowell has been tweaking the American show for the past three years.

There is only one host now. Mario Lopez will take on hosting duties all on his own, following Chloe Kardashian’s departure. During auditions, the contestants will have to go through an additional middle round: an added surprise for the contestants, who will be separated into four groups as usual – Boys, Girls, Over 25s and Groups. With these subtle changes, but mostly with the new judging panel, Cowell believes that the show is finally closer to the mark.

Based on early tapings, "it's probably the closest so far to the show we wanted to make," Cowell says, via USA Today. "It just felt different. It felt more fun. It definitely had more of the feel of the British show. It was everything I wanted — funny, bad, good. I thought the chemistry was good."

Kelly Rowland, Essence Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon
Kelly Rowland is part of the new panel and the new strategy.

The X Factor has, of course been hugely successful in Britain, not only consistently attracting audiences, but also selling out albums and live tours. However, despite Cowell’s best efforts, the show just hasn’t been able to take off in America, having generated consistently underwhelming ratings throughout seasons 1 and 2. It’s too early to tell whether this latest reinvention has had any effect of viewing figures, but with the way the show has been going so far, it might need a miracle to stay afloat this season.

Paulina Rubio, Fox Summer TCA All-Star Party
So is Paulina Rubio.