Paula Abdul. (Christopher Polk/GETTY IMAGES FOR T-MOBILE)

NBC pulled a fast one on Cowell when it announced late last year that it had bought the U.S. rights to “The Voice” format, and would get it on the air in the spring. Cowell and Fox have, for more than a year, been acting like his show is the only “American Idol” competition on the horizon, and have been moving at a snail’s pace to get his show launched -- but not until the fall.

Since NBC announced its acquisition of the format for “The Voice” -- which has trounced both “Idol” and “X Factor” in its country of origin -- Cowell has been trying to get the spotlight back on him.

“The Voice,” with pop artists Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green, “Maroon 5” frontman Adam Levine and country crooner Blake Shelton doing the mentoring and judging, premieres Tuesday night.

Monday, Cowell has a lengthy interview on But, he’s still back there talking about judges he would like to see join him on his show, including Abdul, who was his colleague when he was on “American Idol,” and British R&B singer Cheryl Cole.