It's Official: Simon Cowell is Leaving American Idol
Once again the rumor mills had it right on the money. Simon Cowell announced that he is leaving American Idol to focus on his US X FACTOR project. 2010 will be his last season on the show. Cowell was attending the Television Critics winter press tour when he made the announcement that many were expecting. Both shows will be a part of Fox's lineup.
The loss of both Paula Abdul and soon Simon Cowell will be a tremendous blow to American Idol. It will be interesting to see how the show fares in 2011. While Cowell may be the judge viewers love to hate, however blunt and unkind, his assessments and comments are often the most accurate of the judging panel. He knows the music business, has a finely tuned ear — and most importantly perhaps — an even more finely tuned awareness of what does and doesn't work. Paula, although more warm and fuzzy in her delivery, also has a strong music background and her blend of positive encouragement and constructive criticism were a key component of the panel.
Is Idol strong enough at this point to stand and keep its share of the viewing audience without them? Randy will be the last of the original judges and while he is a known quantity on the show, he is the least popular of the judges. The real question will be is Jackson enough to carry Idol on his own with a new and inexperienced panel? Time will tell, and the viewers will be judge and jury on these changes.