It’s Official: Simon Cowell Leaving American Idol

We reported it several weeks ago when Simon’s brother made the announcement but today the confirmation comes straight from the man himself: Simon Cowell is leaving American Idol.

The news was confirmed today by both Simon and Fox:

Cowell and top Fox executives made the announcement to reporters in Pasadena at a meeting of the Television Critics Association, saying they had reached an agreement only a few hours before.

“I was offered a lot of money to stay on,” Cowell said. “But that wasn’t the reason behind it. I wanted to do something different. I wanted a new challenge.”

Cowell said he didn’t want to leave “American Idol” at a time when it was fading in the ratings.

“You want to leave on a high,” he said. “I’m very proud of what the show has achieved.”

No word yet on who will replace Simon but those will be some tough shoes to fill. Perhaps the show will return to a 3-judge format. Who do you think could take over for Simon Cowell in the next season of American Idol?

Update: Simon Cowell was on Seacrest’s radio show Tuesday morning discussing how sad he was to be leaving American Idol. Apparently not sad enough to not leave Idol, but just kinda sad.

Source: Yahoo!

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83 Comments

  1. put me on …im a prick…id say let him go, just dont put someone retarded on to replace him, hell ill do it for alot less than he did. if not me lol, get someone like adam sandler, gene simmons, or better yet, get ozzy to do it….

  2. Ozzy would be an awesome replacement since they desperately need someone with widely acknowledged music cred. Too bad he can’t speak in anything but garble.

  3. @blackgirl: Hah! Good idea. I can hear it now. ‘You are the weakest singer. Goodbye!’

    I did hear that Piers Morgan was being considering, but too early to know for sure. He’d certain fit your Brit criteria.

  4. Ozzy , If the network wants the highest rateings . People of all ages like him , He would be just great.

  5. @deb: Ohh, that is a good idea. I dunno, he might be even more expensive than Simon. Okay, definitely more expensive but he’d be great if they could swing it.

  6. I think Ozzy would be great but like Matt said, how could you understand him? He would have to have Sharon to interpret. They will have to get someone with a big name to replace Simon.

  7. I think Jerry Seinfeld would be a great judge to take Simon’s place. He is funny, but very oppinionated. Ozzy, on the other hand, could take hours to get his view expressed. Also, comedian Ron White would be good, he’s very oppinionated too and can be down right nasty!

  8. The idea of Ellen D. as a judge is the worst! I cannot stand her on T.V. She is so Fake! And she is not funny. This show is about natural talent not about comedy or ratings.

  9. It needs to be someone with music background. Maybe someone like Justin Timberlake…he’s funny and well liked.

  10. I THINK OZZY WOULD BE SOOO PERFECT!!! WOULD BE VERY INTERESTING TO WATCH ,HE DEFINITELY HAS EXPERIENCE IN MUSIC AND MOST OF ALL, I AGREE WITH THE PERSON WHO SAID PEOPLE OF ALL AGES WOULD KNOW AND LIKE HIM!!!! BUT….. THE QUESTION IS…. CAN THEY AFFORD HIM???? I WOULD THINK HE WOULD WANT A CRAZY $$$$ AMOUNT!!??

  11. Simon and Randy are qualified judges, I like Ellen but she is going to turn this into Hollywood Squares, it will be a joke, not a true talent hunt. When Simon leaves the show is going to go straight down the pipes.

  12. Bring Paula back! The new judge was a joke. She only repeats what Randy says..and her voice is awful…When is Randy leaving?

  13. Bad enough that Paula will be missing and not crazy about her replacement… but, it will NOT be the same without Simon!!!! He added so much to the show and his comments were priceless. I don’t know that I will be watching the way I used to.

  14. The problem with MORON PRODUCERS (please, I’m begging you to listen to me) is that they think what makes Simon great is that he’s a jerk. He’s not only not a jerk, he’s also smart, hilarious and he’s the judge most viewers agree with. Try Norm McDonald or similar. DO NOT put in the Piers from America’s got talent or some such person.

  15. No one can replace Simon. The show started downhill with the announcement of Ellen Degeneres as the replacement for Paula. This latest announcement pretty much puts the last nail in the coffin. I won’t be watching any more. It was a nice run, but it’s time to call it quits! Too bad, because it was a great show. The old adage of “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” still stands.

  16. I understand that Simon Cowell may be leaving American Idol this season and I agree with it, but he’s been a very good judge for that show the past 8 seasons.
    Kevin Silvestris
    Worcester, MA

  17. Only one comment: BRING BACK PAULA!!! ANYTIME!
    NO! She was -and is- the heart of this show. As for Cowell, good riddance!

  18. Simon Cowell may be crude at times. But that is what gets the job done. You can’t sugar coat what isn’t there. Stop and think about it, he predicted every year who would be the winner and I can only think of one time that he wasn’t correct. He knows what it takes, and what won’t cut it! He is irriplaceable! If it wasn’t for his comments the show wouldn’t be what it is!

  19. FRANKLY I DON’T THINK ANYONE CAN TAKE HIS PLACE BUT I THINK PIERCE MORGAN CAN COME PRETTY CLOSE……HE SAYS WHAT HE FEELS AND DOESN’T SUGAR COAT IT…..LIKE SIMON…..I THINK HE WILL INTERACT WITH THE OTHER JUDGES.
    THEY CAN EVEN BRING BACK A FORMER IDOL!!!!!!!
    BUT LETS NOT FORGET…THE TALENT IS THE MAIN REASON WE WATCH AI. A LOT OF TALENT EMERGED FROM THIS SHOW AND I HOPE IT CONTINUES TO FIND NEW TALENT THAT OTHERWISE WOULD GET LOST IN THE SYSTEM…..I’M GETTING EXCITED ABOUT AI, THIS SHOULD BE A VERY INTERESTING SEASON….STAY TUNED!!!!!!

  20. NO ONE CAN REPLACE SIMON. HE’S TRUTHFUL, FUNNY AND GOOD LOOKING. HOW ABOUT DAVID HASSELHOF-NOT. NO ROSE O’DONNELL, SHE’S TOO HOT HEADED BESIDES ELLEN IS FUNNIER. ELLEN WILL MAKE IT A LOT MORE FUN. THE CONTESTANTS AND FANS MAKE THE SHOW.

  21. I totally a agree Gene Simmons!!!! Kara is going to be great and Randy is always right on!!!! Paul McCartny he has been in the bussiness for a long long time….

  22. AI needs Simon.I don’t think the show will be the same without Him. But if they need an replacement I think they should consider Howard Stern.

  23. What about the guy that hosts with Simon on Britain’s Got Talent. Even the lady on that as well. Just an idea. Ok, and Ozzy, Gene, their cool too. Lets just replace everyone and start over. But I will miss Simon.

  24. The show will take a huge hit if he leaves. Ratings will fall and the show could be on its last leg.

    The ONLY way it could survive is to bring on someone that is as edgy, as cras, as rude – if not ruder than him.

    ONE name – one man- HOWARD STERN!!!!

    The only way this show can survive is you bring him on.

  25. Ooooh, Sir Paul would be fabulous! He has incredible innate musical knowledge and ability, more so than anyone else mentioned so far. Well, dream on, it won’t happen.
    On a practical note, Ben Folds would be an effective replacement. I had never heard of him until seeing him on the show he judged, and I found his comments insightful & thoughtful without being sarcastic.

  26. Simon is American Idol, I am afraid this is the beginning of the end for the show. Also when Simon brings X Factor to USA that show will replace American Idol. X Factor is great and it has Simon. I will watch for the time being I hope this season doesn’t suck.

  27. Frank Stalonne – is an artist and performer. He will outshine existing judges – but will never replace Simon

  28. Elton John ( unlikely )
    Bon Jovi
    Paul McCartney
    Bono
    Needs to be some one who is well
    respected. Basically an icon, anything
    else and the show loses it’s credibility
    and it’s audience.

  29. I still think ozzy should do it, everyone knows ozzy…ozzy knows music…someone else good would be either big or rich….they are good..it needs to be a star for the show to survive, brian adams, sebastian bach(skid row) would be awsome, I would sax axle rose, but he would stage dive and whoop some butt..lol

    as far as ellen…i disagree with her being there, shes going to do nothing but get up and dance and make it all about her.

  30. I THINK WE SHOULD ALL GO WITH RUSSELL BRAND HE IS BRITISH AND JUST AS CONTROVERSIAL AS SIMON!! BUT I CANT BELIEVE SIMON IS LEAVING… noone really cares about paula she made me sick the way she used to fight with simon all the time i will miss u simon..! =(

  31. Ok i am the biggest American idol fan and so depressed that Paula Abdul is gone and i think it is when Simon leaves the show is going down hill already I think the show is gonna have ratings that just went from high to low

  32. Andrew Finlond, the guy who sung the Animals House of the rising sun, had tallent and the did not put him threw, why because he didnt have a good attitude, thats crap. they send tallentless hacks threw just as long as they are nice and look good, oh yea cant forget about the sob story they all have, I think if you got it you got it and it should not be based on personality or looks alone, some of the best song writers and singers were mentally unstable and it makes for hit records

  33. First Paula left, now Simon is leaving it is as if the show is falling apart. Kara is great though! Without Simon it is like not having the maccoroni, and you are only left with the cheese. Soon Randy is going to leave because no one is going to watch american idol, since more than half the judges have left. There is a saying, “for crime begets crime” but in this scenario the crime is leaving American Idol. It just isn’t going to be the same without him. I hops someday Simon will read this and see how much he means to his fans and viewers, and maybe someday rejoin American Idol.

  34. Gene Simmons 100%! That’s the only choice that could possibly work. The show will not last with anyone else.

  35. Gene Simmons, he would make a wonderful judge. I think he would come with the wit, the sharpness, and the truthfulness as Simon has.

  36. How about Willie Nelson! No, really think about it. Willie – real – down to earth – He would be awesome!!

  37. THAT WILL BE THE END OF IDOL….simon is honest, i see why he’s leaving these people are a joke and want there 10 seconds of fame. loved GET YOUR PANTS OFF THE GROUND LOOKING LIKE A FOOL..THAT WILL BE A HIT..FOR ABOUT 2 WEEKS

  38. I wish Simon would stay. He’s comment may not be music to the ear but it is necessary to screen and eliminate unqualified contestants who has too much confidence on their singing talent. Simon, please please please please please pleas please please please please please stay. American Idol will never be same wiithout you.

  39. If Simon Cowel leaves idol I’m done with watching it… it’s bad enough that Paula’s gone but with Simon too, it will never be the same!!!!!!!!!!! I love Randy but can’t stand the new girl they added last year….. and Ellen is a dear person but who is she to just talent. It is surely the end of American Idol if not this year the next! Can’t change a hit and expect it to last! Bad move Idol….. so sad

  40. It is sad, and I can see Idol announcing someone retarded for sure, I swear if its someone like David hassilhof…ill never watch it again..

  41. Well So far still voting for Sir Paul or Gene…. I agree the show is going to change big time. In hopes Simons new show will air on the same night or Idol just might be a thing of the past.. Peole love Simon or love to hate him and will follow him either way. Now This Season is off to its start… Whats up with Kara she is on the rude path, it’s cool to tell them singing is not their thing but geez lets be professional a lil bit more please. I think she is good, so far hated some of the nasty comments. Randy is still the bomb.. he is classy and still makes his point even if it is the begining. Simon just knows how to word his coments and thats cool. Kara tone it down a little please re-look at last season you were great. people are people even if they are a bad singers. I know its part of the show and some are bad but laughing and degrating is not cool. Why put them on there if thats the case I don’t mean all but a few of the contestants… Maybe it should be a re-wind Randy,Paula and Simon…

  42. Im going to miss Simon alot ): he was a very straight forward, honest judge. He may have been harsh at times but you need that kind of critisism. xD if we didnt have atleast one person who says “its shit” we’d have “shitty music”
    Ill probably stop watching after this season..maybe after randy jackson leaves..if he leaves too id deffinatly jst stop watching

  43. Anyone who thinks Idol can survive without Paula & Simon is a freakin idiot. It cant. X factor will take over big time.

  44. please.. let it be it’s last season..

    it cant survive without paula..

    and simon is leaving..

    they’re done

  45. Simon es el conocedor que mantuvo el timón en American Idol. Me temo que esto destruirá al programa a menos que encuentren un reemplazo que sume objetividad, y conocimiento sin miedo a expresar su opinión. De otro modo los argumentos y finales tipo Hollywood, se tomarán el programa.

  46. I love Idol but without Simon it will never be the same…. this will definitely be the downfall of American Idol… just watch. They should have offered him the moon to get him to stay…..he’s wonderful and really knows his stuff ….. he can seem harsh to some I know but he doesn’t waste anytime…. he tells it like it is. Losing Simon is really going to be tough on the show and everyone who has been watching it for the past nine years…. So very sorry to see this happen…. Love you Simon!

  47. i think Ellen is not even fit to be judge she only repets what Randy sayes. She is a lesbien. She is UGLY and does not know anything about music.They need someone good in there and me mom thinks Paul McCartney but i think they need someone young like Selena Gomez, or Taylor Swift, or Demi Lovato, or some one like that YOUNG

  48. simon knows wat hes sayin to get most americans on his side ,. he trys it here in england all the time but we dont put up with his put downs , must admit wen u lot get xfactor in states ull switch off A,I in droves haha . its not just solo singles its groups n oldies too. mite descover a new milli vanili haha

  49. WE ARE VERY SORRY! WE DONT WATCH TONIGHT THE FENAL COUNT DOWN,OF THE TWO PARTICIPANT, LEE IS OK, BUT TATTO LADY IS BETTER GO TO DENTIS TO FIKS HERE TEETH, BYE BYE ,WE PILIPINO PEOPLE LOST TRUST TO AMERICAN IDOL, BETTER YOU START GOT TALENT AGAIN, CAUSE ITS REAL AND TRUE, JUST JUDGES FOR LEE NOT FOR TATTO LADY,

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