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Simon Cowell:

I'm Leaving 'American Idol'

1/11/2010 5:37 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Simon Cowell leaving American IdolSimon Cowell will no longer be crushing terrible singers' dreams on the most popular show on television.

Cowell just announced this will be his last season on "American Idol" -- and that he's leaving the show to be a judge and executive producer on FOX's upcoming American version of "The X Factor" ... the British talent show that launched Leona Lewis' career.

Cowell just made the announcement during the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena.

Simon said he was "offered a lot of money" to stay on "American Idol" ... but he "wanted to do something different." BTW, Simon reportedly makes around $36 million a year on "A.I."

For his part, Ryan Seacrest tweeted: "this is simon's last season on idol. He's working on US version of x-factor! He is one of the most brilliant people in our biz! Congrats."

Ironically, Simon and new host Ellen DeGeneres were featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly last week and Ellen addressed the rumor of Simon leaving by saying, "If Simon goes, I go!"

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This was very much unexpected announcement. We are very much disappointed by the way he affirmed it. Whatever it is the show must go on.

1744 days ago


I live in the UK, X Factor is the same as AI, it just has a different name. It's not a big deal.

1743 days ago


Posted at 6:21PM on Jan 11th 2010 by SweetDee: 68. who's leona lewis?

Ah this day of the best ever search engines the obligatory WHO IS you VOTE too?

1743 days ago


the show won't be the same. you watch ellen will leave if simon leaves. simon is what makes the show. randy doesn't have to make the show. this sucks.

1743 days ago


I can't see what will now happen to American Idol if Simon Cowell will now leave the show. It is true that he is the one who give life to the show. It is quit sad because I myself watch the show to see and to hear the comment of this judge.

1740 days ago


At last, the slot is free for me.

1744 days ago


Drink CHROME SODA!!!!! CHROMEDRINKS.COM.....Italian soda!

1744 days ago


I thought Randy said, " dawg don't believe what you hear or read."

1744 days ago

emeril I'm not    

dont care dont watch that stupid show anyway

1744 days ago


It won't be the same. May not even work. . .

1744 days ago


Well, there is the end of American Idol!

1744 days ago


Mixed emotions. I have mixed emotions about this. Very talented, and a breath of fresh air - but sometimes too mean. He couldn't find the balance.

1744 days ago


OK...this is BS once again...right before the season begins for the last few years, they've had some kind of story like this to add to the press for the new season. They did this last year and it was BS...

I like watching AI, but this sh*t is always nonsense!!!

Even if he does, who in the hell cares, as if he'll ever be able to do anything non-AI related anyway and be credible!!!

1744 days ago


Glad he is going. Not a fan of his!!!

1744 days ago


No this can't be! AI is nothing without Simon. Maybe they should consider rehiring Paula Abdul back in Simon's place.

1744 days ago
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