Simon Cowell is Leaving American Idol!

Published 5 years ago by , Updated January 11th, 2010 at 5:53 pm,

simon cowell Simon Cowell is Leaving American Idol!

[Que Simon Cowell accent] “Well this has to be THE WORST news I have ever heard. Seriously. It’s like hearing a dog being run over by a car. I’m not saying that to be mean – I’m just telling you the truth.”

I’m laughing right now, but I’m sure you American Idol fans aren’t.

Barely a few months after learning that former judge Paula Abdul (the good witch) was not returning for the 9th season of America’s favorite singing competition, MSNBC has a breaking headline stating that Simon Cowell (the wicked witch) will also be exiting the show after Idol crowns its season 9 winner.

Cowell let the bomb drop during the Television Critics Association winter press tour out in Pasadena California today, at the same time announcing that his show X Factor will launch in the U.S. in 2011.

Simon was reportedly quoting as saying the following:

“We reached an agreement formally at half past 10 this morning, ‘X Factor’ will launch in America in 2011. Because of that this will be my last season on ‘American Idol’ this year,”

So what could prompt Simon to depart the show that he helped make famous (and vice a versa)? Behind-the-scenes issues? Personal issues? Oh wait… how about MONEY?

Said Simon:

“I was offered a lot of money to stay on (‘Idol’)…But that wasn’t the reason behind it. I wanted to do something different. I wanted a new challenge…You want to leave on a high…I’m very proud of what the show has achieved.”

American idol simon randy paula ryan Simon Cowell is Leaving American Idol!

The end of an era…

For those who need a translator: the man is tired of judging the same singing competition year after year. And while he gets paid roughly $36 million a season to judge Idol, he’ll make much bigger dividends as the owner of X Factor if the show – which is a talent competition a la America’s Got Talent -  turns out to be a hit. Cowell’s Idol contract forbid him from launching any competing venture, which X Factor will clearly be.

Fox executive Peter Rice is already doing damage control, assuring fans that American Idol will continue to run without Cowell. The question now is: will people still be interested in watching?

Fans were already somewhat jaded last season when new judge Kara DioGuardi was added to the roster, leading to widespread speculation (and later confirmation) that Abdul was on the way out. This upcoming 9th season (premiering this week) will determine just how well viewers deal with the DioGuardi/Abdul switch.

kara dioguardi Simon Cowell is Leaving American Idol!New Judge Kara DioGuardi Making Her Grand Entrance

So far, there’s been no announcement of who would take Simon’s place on the show (oh Simon, can we ever truly replace you?). Expect to hear rumors/nominations/announcements in the coming months.

How do  you Idol fans feel about all this? Let us know in the comments. Somewhere, I can see Ryan Seacrest jumping for joy…

The 9th season of American Idol kicks off this Tuesday, January 12th @ 8pm on Fox.

Source: MSNBC

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. People still watch American Idol?!?!

  2. Couldn’t. Care. Less. And, frankly, it’d surprise me if a majority of Screen Rant readers felt any different than I. Honestly, I’m surprised to see it as a topic on Screen Rant at all.

  3. man she looks good

  4. I think if American Idol makes a wise selection they could stand to profit from the change rather than suffer.

  5. Hey guys, I know you longtime readers don’t care,

    But we gotta lure some new blood to keep growing, capice?

    Now: back to our regularly scheduled programming. :-)

  6. Simon is a dope but a filthy rich dope.

  7. Lol, anyone else laugh at that black/white photo montage? Reminds me of the Next Gen Star Trek photo that was around a few years ago.

    Let me know when Simon leaves the planet, until then I couldn’t care less about this guy.

  8. @790: Reminds me of Van Halen’s OU812 album cover.

  9. Meh I enjoy American Idol to a certain extent. I like hear great singers come on the show and then lose to an untalented trendy person. I actually like Simon though the guy is always enjoyable to watch at least for me. He makes me laugh not only that, but 99% of the time he is right. I watch every season since the 3rd one on and off though I’ll watch about half of them. Usually just to hear what Simon has to say and to hear someone with a good voice sing a great song. I’ll stop watching after this year. There really isn’t a point to it anymore.

  10. Ah yes very good point Zipper.
    Kofi are you going to cover the real big story of the day?

    “‘Hannah Montana’ may be ending after next season”

  11. Nope just waiting for: “Hannah Mantana turns 21″ :-P

  12. I like watching the losers at the beginning who have no idea that they can’t sing, but the show won’t be the same without Abdul and Simon. They might as well can it now, but they won’t. It’ll drag on until it resembles an arthritic old fogey in a nursing home.

    Kinda like Survivor.

  13. YES! Simon is a cruel and idiotic bully. He makes fun of how people look…does he ever look in the mirror?
    And even though he may be saying that he is telling the truth about talent…he does not have to be MEAN about it! Plenty of people have more talent in their little pinky then he has in his whole body.
    Simon will NOT be missed and anyone who says he will is just as much a bully as he is!
    The show will be better without him.
    I’m glad Ellen is joining the show, she has a HEART at least!

  14. “…But that wasn’t the reason behind it. I wanted to do something different. I wanted a new challenge…”

    By doing “The X-Factor”?

    For those who don’t know (which I hope is everyone outside of Britain) “X Factor” is exactly the freakin’ same as Idol (Idol started in Britain, but didn’t take off like it did in the US so they just came up with the exact same show and named it “The X Factor”… which has just finished its 6th season).

  15. Joshi, I think the new challenge for Simon is making more money and being in control of the show.
    Linda, lol, yeah Simon should hire a lawyer and sue Supercuts!

  16. American Idol won't be the same without Simon….I already don't watch Idol as much as I did because Paula isn't on it anymore and Kara gets on my nerves!! I like Ellen because she's so funny, but when Simon leaves I don't think I'll be tuning into Idol anymore.

  17. American Idol won't be the same without Simon….I already don't watch Idol as much as I did because Paula isn't on it anymore and Kara gets on my nerves!! I like Ellen because she's so funny, but when Simon leaves I don't think I'll be tuning into Idol anymore.

  18. better to leave n get better smile….

  19. I will definately miss Simon he made the show