Sad news for American Idol fans as Simon Cowell has confirmed he will be leaving the hit show when his contract ends after the 2010 season.
This comes weeks after numerous reports speculated the AI ‘mean’ judge would be exiting the show. Simon will judge and produce an American version of his British hit music show,The X Factor. His new show is set to debut on Fox in Fall 2011.
“Because of that this will be my last season on American Idol,” he announced Monday. “I felt like doing something different,” he explained. “I want to leave Idol this year bigger and better than it’s been before.”
In an interview with Extra, Simon says money was not a factor in his quiting the show. He said he simply wanted and needed a new challenge. The Today Show reported Simon was offered 144 million dollars to do both American Idol and The X Factor, an offer he declined.
There are also rumors that Simon is courting former AI judge Paula Abdulto become one of the judges on the X Factor. When asked about those Paula rumors, he said: “I adore Paula. Whatever happens with her, I will be working with her in some capacity because I miss her.”
Simon was reportedly earning 34 millions a year as an AI judge.
Ellen DeGeneres is opening up about her new role as a judge on Fox’s hit show –American Idol. The latest season of AI, set to premier Tuesday, January 12th, will feature Ellen replacing Paula Abdul as one of the judges.
When asked about fellow judge Simon Cowell, Ellen had the following to say: “We both like each other and accept one another,” DeGeneres tells Wall Street Journal. “At the same time I think he’s mean and I think he says things in an insensitive way and I don’t think that’s the way to get a point across. I’ve called him on it to his face. I’ll do the same thing to him (on Idol).”
Ellen goes on to discuss the type of judge she aims to be. The talk show host promises to be opinionated, but can’t promise she’ll be as warm and fuzzy as her predecessor Paula. “I don’t know if I’ll be as nurturing as she is. She always found a positive thing to say instead of attacking,” says Ellen. “I’ll probably try to be somewhat encouraging. … But I’ll be honest. I don’t think it helps anybody to be encouraged and not told the truth.”
The first couple of weeks of AI will feature guest judges. Ellen will come on the show alongside Simon, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi later on in the season.
The newest season of American Idol is set to premier January 12th on the FOX network, and the new photos of all the judges have now been released!
TV Host Ellen DeGeneres will be taking the place of Paula Abdul in the 9th season of the hit show, but don’t expect to see Ellen anytime soon on your Television as she did not take part in the audtion part of the show. Celebrity guest judges such as Mary J. Blidge, Shania Twain, and Victoria Beckham will be the ones deciding which contestants make it to Hollywood.
“I’m very excited to be on the show,” Ellen has said of joining the show. “I will tell you that right now. I just continue to be excited every single day.”
There are also those pesky rumors that Simon Cowell will be leaving the show after this season, after his brother Tony Cowell announced on his British show that Simon plans to leave AI “at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing the American version of The X Factor to U.S. TV in 2011.” However, fellow judge Randy Jackson puts those rumors to rest by telling TMZ Simon isn’t leaving.
Only time will tell whether or not Simon will be leaving the show.
TELL US: CAN AMERICAN IDOL SURVIVE WITHOUT SIMON COWELL?
Fox recently announced the ninth season of America Idolwill premiere on Tuesday, January 12 at 8pm ET/PT. The season will premiere for two consecutive nights with a two-hour broadcast on Tuesday and a one-hour broadcast on Wednesday, January 13 at 8PM ET/PT.
The auditions for American Idol took place over the summer and featured several guest judges in Paula’s spot including Victoria Beckham in Denver and Boston, Mary J. Blige in Atlanta, Joe Jonas and Neil Patrick Harris in Dallas, Kristin Chenoweth inOrlando, Shania Twain in Chicago,and Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne in Los Angeles.
In other Idol news, Kris Allen’s self titled album dropped at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 album sales chart after selling only 80,000 copies during its week of release, according to Nielsen Soundscan data. This is the lowest of any idol winner ever recorded. Before Kris, Jordin Sparks, sixth season winner previously held the record for lowest album sales and sold 119,000 copies in first week release in November 2007.
Those figures are especially low compared to the 198,000 albums sold by runner up, Adam Lambert, who has remained in the headlines due to his recent raunchy performance at the American Music Awards.
“I think Ellen will b a great judge on Idol,” she Twittered Thursday. “She is wildly funny, talented and I wish her the best of luck!”
Former judge, Paula Abdul, abruptly announced she would not be returning to the show on her Twitter page back in August. It is said to have been due to contract negotiations. Paula felt she deserved more money than what AI was offering. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Ellen promises to be the “honest” judge who will “bring compassion” to the show. In addition, she intends to keep fellow judge Simon Cowell in check.
“I’ll tell him the same thing I tell him when he’s on my show — that he’s mean,” she said. “You can be constructive, and you can criticize someone in a way that’s helpful and not mean-spirited.”
Ellen, 51, will begin her stint after the audition rounds, which will feature a rotating group of celebrity guest judges including Shania Twain, Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Joe Jonas and Kristin Chenoweth.
Ellen also confirmed the announcement at her talk show taping Wednesday, “I’m going to have a day job and a night job,” assuring her audience that The Ellen DeGeneres Show will continue. “This is so exciting for me.”
Former judge, Paula Abdul, abruptly announced she would not be returning to the show on her Twitter page back in August. It is said to have been due to contract negotiations. Paula felt she deserved more money than what AI was offering.
American Idol’s ninth season kicks off January 2010.
The ninth season of American Idol will premiere in January 2010 without Paula Abdul. American Idol isn’t the same without Paula Abdul, says Simon Cowell.
Simon, 49, tells Extra the show is now “different. It’s like comparing a carrot to a banana… They are different.”
On the ninth season, judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi return – along with celebrity guest judges, including Victoria Beckham, Shania Twain, Mary J. Blige and Katy Perry.
Simon says, he doesn’t want to “get in the middle” of Idol execs and Paula but definitely misses her being on the show. He also believes Paula will always be able to find work.
So what’s next for Paula?
“I definitely want to do a talk show because it would be different,” says Abdul, who has shot a guest role on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva and will host VH1’s Divas Live Sept. 17. “It would be a lot of fun variety with a ton of unexpected stuff and tributes to everyday people getting their big chance.”
Even though Paula Abdul is leaving the show, American Idolwill still have four judges, Fox chairman Peter Rice told the FOX Television Critics Association on Thursday.
“There is going to be a search,” he said. The search is for a permanent replacement, while there will be guest judges taking her place during the auditions.
According to Peter, the producers “were hoping” Abdul would come back. “We love Paula. She’s been a really wonderful part of the show for eight years.”
Sources say that Paula asked for a $20 million deal which producers were unwilling to meet. She also rejected a thirty percent raise.
According to FOX, guest judges including Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry will join Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi in the seven weeks of audition rounds, which starts Friday in Denver.
“We’ll have these guest judges do one week each during the audition [period]… there is no thought right now that any of these judges will be long term judge for us,” Rice said. “All of the people we are talking to have successful careers. I don’t even think they’d be available to judge full-time. We have now until January to introduce a new energy to the panel.”
There are also rumors that Kandi Burruss of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is being considered as a judge, but those are simply rumors for now.