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Simon Cowell -- Down to the Wire

1/12/2010 2:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Simon Cowell's blockbuster announcement yesterday -- that he was leaving "American Idol" for "The X Factor" -- almost didn't happen.

We've learned Cowell and Fox had been negotiating the terms of the move for weeks. We're told the deal was basically done and the plan was for Cowell to make the announcement at the Television Critics Association.

But there was an unexpected snag yesterday morning. As Simon drove to the TCA in Pasadena, final negotiations hit a wall. Lawyers for both sides had a serious disagreement over one of the terms. As Simon was pulling up, he was on the phone and on the verge of aborting the announcement and driving away -- the ultimate game of brinkmanship.

Simon Cowell: Click to listenSomeone blinked ... because lawyers came to terms and Simon rolled out of his Rolls and into TV history.

UPDATE: Simon was just on Ryan Seacrest's morning show and confirmed they "were driving down to do the press conference and we didn't have an agreement."


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Dr Leah Kennedy    

"52. I hope he doesn't bring over that dusty convicted racist Cheryl Cole. TMZ you should do a story about the fact that Cheryl Cole was convicted if racially abusing and physically assaulting a poor toilet attendant. Posted at 3:00PM on Jan 12th 2010 by Geena Wyle"

Tut Tut Tut Genna Wyle you are both ill informed and ill mannered.I diagnose a severe case of jealousy and that as we
all know is a terrible illness.I fear there is no hope of you overcoming this.However, I do wish that you get well soon!

1705 days ago


Simon Cowell, your x factor show is going to tank, and you will be a has-been.

1742 days ago



1742 days ago

Jamaican Sam    

Sweet! Simon should be da new James Bond. He's pretty good at kicking people in dare cojones.

1742 days ago


He's just gross !!

1742 days ago


#21: a has been what? the man is a ga-zillionare. he won't miss a thing.

1742 days ago


Why does Simon Cowell wear the same outfit including shoes day in and day out? He looks like an overgrown boy. There is something strange about his behavior in that regard.

1742 days ago


Between him leaving and Ellen being on the show, hopefully that will put the final nail in the coffin of this show.

1742 days ago


I bet that "term" of disagreement was the inclusion of Paula Abdul as a host in the show. Simon wants her - the network doesn't.

1742 days ago


This guy is is one gigantic butt licker and I can't stand him. Go back from whence you came moron.

1742 days ago

A. Conda    

Nice botox job Simon but stay away from V neck sweaters !

1742 days ago


Does he have pec implants?

1742 days ago


Down to the wire? That's a crock. Every move Simon the scam man makes is orchestrated to perfection. He will never make a move that will cost him in $$$ or anything else. Not yet anyway. He's still Midas but his day is coming when he'll be sweeping up after horses in a parade. Who does he think he is...Ryan Seacrest?

1742 days ago



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1742 days ago


Mixed emotions the show has had a great run however the network would like to keep it going as long as it can it is a money machine.

It does give some great exsposure to some good talents who would proboly would not get notice if it wasent for the show!

1742 days ago
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