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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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46.

Dindo    

Who cares the show stinks anyway !

1655 days ago
47.

Darlene    

Simon was the best & right on the mark! I will miss him.
Paula sucked, never understood why she was there in the first place!

1654 days ago
48.

Sassy    

It looks like he's wearing girl shoes and that is an ugly sweater. All that money and nobody can help him chose his outfits???

1654 days ago
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