Obviously, Simon Cowell’s had plenty of experience with TV competitions, but the shows that helped him gain worldwide fame, Britain’s Pop Idol, its U.S. spin-off American Idol, and The X Factor, were all highly structured affairs. So when he conceived the idea for America’s Got Talent, Cowell really wanted to do something different — a competition with an “anything goes” attitude. In fact, maybe he should have just called the show Talent Club. Because, as he told us, the first rule of Talent Club — er, America’s Got Talent — is “there are no rules.” (Click on the media bar below to hear Simon Cowell)

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

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