Monday, January 11, 2010

Simon Cowell Leaving American Idol

Simon Cowell X Factor Britain American Idol judge smirk smile screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesDevilish Simon Cowell on Britain's X Factor.

If you thought Paula Abdul leaving American Idol was a big deal, hold onto your hat. Simon Cowell has now announced he's leaving American Idol after this season. Love him or hate him (for most it's a combination of both), no one can deny that Simon Cowell is a big part of AI's continued success.

MSN reports on a lot of backstage drama and power struggles with American Idol founder Simon Fuller, and also reports on the pots of cash that Simon gets for AI--and could get if he'd agreed to stay on. Considering he makes millions per hour in his job as American Idol host, it's safe to stay he has an entertaining and fairly easy job that most people would kill for.

What some will find astounding is that Cowell is willing to turn his back on the bed of money American Idol guarantees him, in order to run and star in the American version of X Factor--an AI competitor that's done well in Britain. Apparently no amount of cash is worth it if Cowell can't call the shots. Even people without egos the size of Cowell's can understand how frustrating it is to not be in charge at work--particularly when you don't agree with your boss.

Critics have been sounding the death knell for American Idol for some time, and Cowell's departure so soon after Abdul's makes a good case for the show's imminent demise. There's always a chance that a shake-up of the judges' panel could revive the still popular AI out of a creative slump--and certainly the Adam Lambert phenom of last year has drawn a lot of attention that could keep American Idol soaring for longer than expected.

X Factor reportedly thrives more on the drama than American Idol, which nauseates me but will probably entice much of the viewing public who love reality TV insanity. I'll reserve judgment on America's X Factor until I've seen it, however, and see how it stacks up to American Idol. A lot will depend on who they get to replace Cowell. Even if they go with someone equally confrontational, he or she will need to put their own spin on it to avoid becoming just a pale carbon of judge Cowell--a misstep that could definitely tank American Idol.

The silver lining next year will be for pop star wannabes, who will have double the chances to get themselves on TV.

PHOTO: Simon Cowell on Britain's X Factor, screencap c2006 Fremantle, Syco, ITV.

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