He's called it "mean-spirited", "playing games" and "ungentlemanly". NBC claims that it didn't even realise it was going to be on the same night and that it was a coincidence. Anyway, comedy shows and dramas clash in the schedules, so why not Britney and Christina? Why not The Voice and the big X?
Cowell is gambling on his second season of The X Factor capturing imaginations and bumper ratings figures that he didn't get close to in 2011. Britney Spears brings a wow factor and curiosity and Demi Lovato will bring more spark than Nicole Scherzinger and more clarity than Paula Abdul as the fourth member of the panel.
But will the new additions to the panel be enough to turn around a wobbly show? The Voice coaches have been a hit. They have chemistry. The Blind Auditions work. NBC has taken a gamble on giving the show a second outing this calendar year, but viewers don't seem to be showing any signs of fatigue yet for Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton.
Both shows go head-to-head on Wednesday night and neither will want to come out second best in the ratings. Neither show has come close to replacing Idol as the No.1 talent show (yet), but whoever wins this war can definitely claim that they are the closest rival.
The Voice has great singers:
But The X Factor has Britney:
Who do you think will win the Wednesday night talent show war? And which show will you be watching live? Let us know below