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A year after Simon Cowell abandoned ship on American Idol to produce an American version of his other popular televised singing competition, he returned to Fox tonight—and reunited with a no-doubt hysterical Paula Abdul—as The X Factor made its stateside debut.
Our own Richard Lawson will have a proper recap sometime tomorrow, but for now let's get you water cooler-ready: first, watch the video above. Then, remember that her name is Stacy Francis and she's the 42-year-old single mom who took full advantage of her last chance at stardom with a stunning performance of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," which Cowell described as "one of the best auditions I have ever heard in my life."
In other words, get ready for the upcoming onslaught of "The American Susan Boyle" headlines.