Simon Cowell Says American Idol Can’t Recreate OG Judges, Hasn’t Seen Show in Years

American Idol original judges

Simon Cowell hasn't seen American Idol in years, and despite pleas from fans of the rebooted series to return to its original lineup of judges, he said the show can't recreate the OG roster. Cowell, who rose to international fame as one-third of the Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul judging triad, has happily moved on from his American Idol days with no intention of turning back the clock.

Since leaving American Idol in 2010, Cowell has remained a steady presence on television screens in primetime network shows. He's been a judge for The X Factor and America's Got Talent, among other talent-based competitions. In the early days of American Idol, Cowell built a brand on his brutal honesty and ruthless insults. Since leaving American Idol, a rotating cast of household names in music have sat in the judges' seats. None have been able to capture the uniquely lovable antagonistic style of Cowell. As times have evolved, however, so has Cowell. His critiques on America's Got Talent are far less biting than they were in the formative years of American Idol. Like Cowell's career, American Idol has managed to remain a network TV fixture, though it will likely never be as popular as it was in the early 2000s. After ending a 15-year run on Fox in 2016, American Idol debuted on ABC in 2018.

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Cowell recently told Us Weekly that he hadn't seen the show "in so many years" when asked about host Ryan Seacrest's potential departure from the series. In 2017, Cowell claimed he'd been approached about being a part of the show's revival, but declined the offer. At the time Cowell said, “I have no interest. My memories are when we first started. It was a different time with Randy, Ryan and Paula. You can’t recreate that.”

Simon has no interest in returning to American Idol, doesn't watch show

Despite his disinterest in bringing the old band back together, Cowell's separation with the show was on good terms. When he returned in 2016 for the series finale on Fox, he said, “I’d like to say on behalf of us, thank you, America, for inviting us into your homes, thank you to the contestants … and for you guys being actually my best friends now, and I’m going to miss you. I’m feeling quite emotional now.”

During the first few seasons of American Idol, the show was a worldwide phenomenon, thanks in large part to Cowell's uncanny ability to charm the massive viewing audience while excoriating the contestants. The reality singing competition was more than a boon for future offshoots; it inserted itself into the zeitgeist of an era. At the time, American Idol enthusiasts were just as likely to pretend they were an aspiring singer as they were to imagine themselves on the judging panel, lambasting friends in their best British accent. That nostalgia won't soon go away, and thus, it's likely Cowell will only stop being asked about a possible return once American Idol ceases to exist. Until then, the pipe dream lives on.

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Source: Us Weekly

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