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IMAGE: Simon Cowell
Mario Anzuoni  /  REUTERS
"The X Factor's" biggest fan remains Simon Cowell, but he's going to need 19,999,999 more to hit his projected ratings numbers.
Access Hollywood
updated 10/4/2011 7:43:24 AM ET 2011-10-04T11:43:24

Simon Cowell tells Access Hollywood he was misunderstood when he told a trade magazine he’d consider it a “disappointment” if “The X Factor” didn’t pull in 20 million viewers on its first outing on FOX.

Story: 'Modern Family' beats 'X Factor' in ratings

“That was a slight misunderstanding. I wasn’t saying I want 20 million for the first episode. I said we wanna hit 20 million,” Simon told Access, attempting to cast a new light on his previous comments to The Hollywood Reporter.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Scenes From "The X Factor": Season 1 — The Auditions

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“Of course that went out there and I thought, ‘I have really opened my big mouth here because anything now under 20 is a disaster,’ ” he added. “As much as people want you to succeed, there’s a ton of people that want you to fail and I took a bit in the neck that first day.”

Story: Abdul still 'disgusted' over X-rated 'X Factor' audition

Simon did, however, tell Access he predicts “The X Factor” will draw in 20 million viewers at some point.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: The Verdict Is In! Judges Of Reality Television

“I do believe — in time, because I believe in the show — we’re gonna hit those numbers,” he told Access.

“You’ve gotta remember — this is a new show,” he added.

In addition to commenting on those number predictions, Simon also offered a further description of what “D.O.A.,” which he recently used with L.A. Reid during the audition rounds, means.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Nicole Scherzinger: This Pussycat Doll’s Got ‘The X Factor’!

“We use this expression on the show ‘D.O.A.’ — Dead On Arrival. Anyone under the age of 21 who’s cute, who’s got talent (and is) female (is)] not gonna get through,” he said, referring to what he and L.A. say between themselves when Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger veto a female contestant.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Anything But Dreadful! Hot Shots Of Simon Cowell!

“The X Factor” returns for its third week of episodes on Wednesday at 8/7 on FOX.

Copyright 2013 by NBC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Has Simon gone soft on 'X Factor'?

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