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Simon Cowell on What to Expect from The X Factor: 12-Year Olds, Judge-on-Judge Combat

February 7th, 2011 9:56pm EST

Simon Cowell | Photo Credits: Jon Furniss/WireImage.com

Why did Simon Cowell and the producers of Fox's The X Factor decide to offer contestants the biggest grand prize on television? To make everybody a little nervous, Cowell says.

The X Factor to offer $5 Million grand prize

"By putting up that kind of prize money, it's a massive, massive risk. But it's also an incredible incentive," Cowell told reporters Monday of the decision to offer the winning X Factor act a $5 million recording contract. "I think it puts everybody, rightly, under an enormous amount of pressure. I didn't want to go into this show without a feeling a certain amount of pressure, because with pressure, you've got to find a star.

"I think if we can't find a global star, then I would say we...

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