His notoriety as a judge became his trademark on television yet no one can deny the brilliance of Simon Cowell to create programs that strike a chord with audiences worldwide.

Cowell’s name is associated with reality competition shows like “American Idol,” “The X Factor,” and the “Got Talent” franchise. “America’s Got Talent” 2016 welcomed Simon Cowell to the judges’ panel for season 11. Cowell created the format for the program that’s become a summer favorite on NBC, AJC wrote. However, this is his first time as a judge on the popular show but his third act on US television, The New York Times noted.

While Cowell replaced Howard Stern who backed out of AGT after season 10, his participation came willingly. He noted the “surprise factor” associated with the show as the reason behind it.

“On this show — and of course we get singers on there — it’s that surprise factor where literally a box will appear on the stage and you don’t know what’s inside the box or what the act’s going to be,” Cowell told the publication.

The end of “American Idol” also left him nostalgic for the days when the show raked in big, big numbers. Cowell left after nine seasons on AI. He revealed the show wasn’t the same to him after Paula Abdul’s departure.

“The first three or four years were genuinely probably the best three or four years of my life. It was so much fun, so unexpected, we didn’t know what was going to happen, the show just took off and became a huge hit and we were in the middle of something that we were making up every week. Then it all started to get a bit serious and Paula [Abdul] left and then it just wasn’t the same to me,” Cowell revealed.

His learnings from “The X Factor” taught him a lot about what worked and didn’t for today’s TV audience.

“We thought 12 million [viewers] was bad. Now, I’m thinking, ‘Christ, if I could launch a show with 12 million today, I’d be a hero.’ But we beat ourselves up so much about it and we changed so many things. The show became unrecognizable. I blame myself, but we made crazy decisions. We didn’t treat it like a hit. We treated it as a failure. I wasn’t aware the market had gone down to that level so quickly. I was in this La-La Land head space of 30 or 40 million and I thought 12 million feels terrible,” Simon Cowell said.