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Reality TV: THR's 50 Most Powerful List

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    Simon Cowell
    8
    Simon Cowell
    Founder and owner, Syco

    For the man who has been fastened to a judges’ table since 2002 -- when he made his debut on American Idol -- and created worldwide franchises of talent contests The X Factor (more than 36 countries carry a version of it) and Got Talent (49 countries and counting), a winning reality show formula begins with the basics: “What color is the floor? Literally, that’s where we start,” says the 52-year-old Brit.

    PHOTOS: THR's 2012 Reality Power List

    Every decision has an impact, especially about who’s sitting to his right.

    COMPLETE LIST: THR's 2012 Reality Power List

    After a season-one shake-up on U.S. X Factor that saw two judges and a host depart, Cowell announced May 14 that pop stars Britney Spears and Demi Lovato will be judges for season two. “My biggest failures were when I believed my own hype,” he has said of all the drama. “You learn from your mistakes.”

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