Simon Cowell I Want to Beat "American Idol"

9/21/2011 3:00 PM PDT

Simon Cowell: I Want to Beat "American Idol"

Simon Cowell is out for blood tonight on "X Factor" -- telling TMZ, he wants to beat "American Idol" (and every other show for that matter) in the ratings department.

The big "X Factor" premiere isn't competing head to head with "Idol" -- but Simon still wants to outrank his big competition, telling us, "You don't compete for the silver or the bronze ... You may not get the gold, but you die trying."

When we asked how X will measure up against similar singing competitions -- Simon responded, "It's definitely going to be better than the other shows."

As for what to look out for tonight -- Simon says the show is full of "nutcases" ... and one audition is especially terrifying.

Oh, as for what Simon thinks of "American Idol" without him -- well, he says, "It's not my cup of tea."