Simon Cowell on "Idol": "It's Better Than Last Year"

The former "Idol" judge has kind words for the new incarnation of the show

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    NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 22: Simon Cowell attends the 38th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton and Towers on November 22, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Simon Cowell

    We're pretty sure no one saw this coming.

    The outspoken and abrasive Simon Cowell was asked his thoughts on the new incarnation of "American Idol" - which replaced the infamous judge with musical A-listers Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler - and the man known for being brutally honest was...actually kind?

    "I personally think it is a better show than last year," he tells TV host Piers Morgan, in an interview set to air next week.

    "It feels to me they've got their energy back," says Cowell, adding that the show now feels "confident" and "competitive." 

    Cowell is currently working on bringing his hit UK reality series "The X Factor" to the U.S. next year.

    The complete interview will air on "Piers Morgan Tonight" on March 14th.

    Selected Reading: CNN, The Daily Mail, Entertainment Weekly