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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.

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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."

62 COMMENTS

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16.

hotandcold    

That picture of Simon Cowell... Is he wearing women's high heels?? Those shoes are really pointy in the toes and with the droopy pants it makes it look like he's wearing women's high heeled shoes. What's up with that?

1707 days ago
17.

KOOKYPEDIA    

balls

1707 days ago
18.

Trooper Tom    

The world of TV is not going to end because this wanker is leaving a TV show. Just another twerp who believes his own publicity

1707 days ago
19.

Trooper Tom    

Why does any one think this d!ick is buffed? If he took that top of you would see a flabby out of shape mess

1707 days ago
20.

Bruce    

First Paula, now Simon!?!?
I already miss the good ol'days...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7Opl3TCK0o

1707 days ago
21.

cjs    

Funny he looks like "Ari" in that pic. :-)

1707 days ago
22.

my my my    

I don't see what the fuss is about him, he so ugggg

1707 days ago
23.

kurt    

who care bout that whinging pommy bastard!!!

1707 days ago
24.

diana    

The show will "NOT" be the same. I was really sorry to see Paula leave and not happy with Ellen. Ellen is nice, etc., I would watch her show from time to time. However, there is "NO" replace for Paula. Now since SImon is leaving, I doubt if I watch the show. The interest is not there anymore.

1707 days ago
25.

Geena Wyle    

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.

1707 days ago
26.

Marty    

SIMON..please...

BUY SOME NEW O*&$^*&#$^ CLOTHES!

No more BLK cashmere tightie shirts or T's...cmon! Its embarrasing!

1707 days ago
27.

DR SICK    

I'm so glad Simon is leaving that train wreck of a show. I have wanted to stop watching it for years, but only tuned in to hear his comments. Now I will follow him to the X Factor. Can you imagine how handsome he would look if he ever dressed the part of a multi-millionaire Englishman? Good thing Ryan made a lot of money on the show. I can't see it returning next year without Simon.

1707 days ago
28.

ken    

get this jerk off tv

1706 days ago
29.

mtrmthxx    

I am glad that Paula is gone, she wasted so much time blathering on and on, but Simon is the mainstay of the show. Yes, he can be arrogant, but he is usually right! After all, they are looking for talent, not just idiots looking for their 15 minutes of fame. I can't imagine who they could get to replace him. I am looking forward to see how Ellen does.

http://www.wicklesscandleparty.com

1706 days ago
30.

Elizabeth    

Cheryl Cole was found guilty of punching the toilet attendant, not of being a racist. Besides, her husband is Black. I think Cheryl would be a good addition to the U.S. X-Factor. The act she's mentored have won for the past 2 seasons. She knows what it's like to gain a career from a competition reality show. She and the rest of Girls Aloud have taken their 15 minutes and stretched it out to 7 years, so far.

1706 days ago
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