Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
James Hibberd
April 15, 2011 AT 08:00 PM EDT

NBC’s The Voice judge coach Cee Lo Green says he didn’t want to be a judge on Fox’s fall rival X-Factor because the show “wasn’t distinctive enough.” “I was unfamiliar with the concept of The X-Factor,” Cee-Lo told critics at NBC’s press tour junket in Pasadena when asked why he supposedly turned down Simon Cowell’s show. “I didn’t see it as distinctive enough. It kind of seemed like shows like Idol had run its course. That was before Steven Tyler was cast on American Idol and they’ve done a great job [reworking the show].”

A rep for Cowell’s series has said Green only met with producers, but was not actually offered the gig.

And at any rate, Green then made it clear he’s all in favor of competition among the still-healthy singing competition reality show marketplace, though adds he does not think that he would have fared well on a show like Idol. “I’m not sure I would have sang and stood in line with 20,000 people and stood out,” Green says. “I’m not the shortest distance between A and B, I’m more of the scenic route.”

NBC gave critics a 15-minute preview of The Voice and, judging from their tweets, many were impressed. The coaching panel seemed to have a pretty lively chemistry, at least based on the introductory clip.

Read more:

‘The Voice’ first look: Judging the coaches’ pipes!

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