'X Factor' kicked off its first season last night and now judge Paula Abdul is opening up about the transition to the new singing competition series, and what it's like to be reunited with Simon Cowell.

Abdul left 'American Idol' after Season 8 amidst controversy over her salary, but the multi-talented star tells The Hollywood Reporter that if all were equal, she would still choose to be a part of 'X Factor.'

"...I think change is always good," she says. "I’ve never had one job for nine years, and for someone like me, who’s been a director, choreographer and then a performer, I’ve had multiple reinventions when it comes to career paths. It makes sense to try something different, but it doesn’t take away from the love that I had with 'Idol.'"

Abdul says she stayed in touch with Cowell post-'Idol,' when she took time off to travel and conceptualize her own "dance show." Then, of course, the producer approached the 49-year-old about 'X Factor,' an offer she couldn't refuse.

"Simon and I ended up being a great duo on television," she adds. "The formula was there -- lightening in a bottle that you can’t manufacture. It took years to figure it out. It was extremely awkward at first. I can have fun with him and at the same time be completely aggravated with him. It was great but you need time away and it’s a total blessing that these few years allowed for us to breathe."

These days, Abdul says Cowell is a different man. The two still have their differences, but at the end of the day, it works. "When X Factor premieres, it will have been three years since we last sat and filmed together. Now, it’s a whole different feeling, experience and situation," she says. "I get a kick out of seeing Simon happy. He’s totally in his element. He still annoys me and I annoy him, but we all get along well."