Simon Cowell Turns Down Offer to Return to 'American Idol'
Simon Cowell Turns Down Offer to Return to 'American Idol'
Jeff Dodge
Jeff Dodge
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
We already know that Kelly Clarkson and even Jennifer Hudson won't be judging ABC's American Idol reboot since they've signed on as coaches on The Voice. But what about original judge Simon Cowell?

In an interview with Extra, the America's Got Talent creator and judge revealed that ABC asked him to return -- and he turned down the offer.


"I was asked to do it, and the answer is no," Simon admitted. "I have no interest. My memories are when we first started. It was a different time with Randy [Jackson], Ryan [Seacrest] and Paula [Abdul]. You can't recreate that."

Simon did try to re-create part of that when he hired Paula as a judge for The X Factor US, and he ended up firing her and others after the first season.

He added that he doesn't regret leaving Idol after season 9: "Last time I watched, it was not the same show, just the same name. I left for a reason and I never regretted that."

But it can't be just his memories of the original judging trio that's causing Simon to turn down this offer, right? Speaking with Today, he elaborated by saying his commitment to America's Got Talent, and his excitement at working on that show, are part of the reason as well.

He said, "[ABC and I] spoke about it, and they did ask me but no -- and I'll tell you why. First of all, I'm committed to [America's Got Talent] and I made a commitment to this show and I do like being on this show. And secondly, when I really, really thought about it, it was kind of like, 'How can you go back again?'"


Simon went on to say, "When I left [Idol] the last time, at the time it felt like the right thing to do. When we very, very first started it, it was kind of like fun, crazy, naive. None of us really knew what we were doing. That was a fantastic panel, by the way."

There were a handful of years in which Simon was working on both Idol (on screen) and AGT (behind the scenes) at the same time. During that time, he realized that Talent was the show he enjoyed more.

"Even when I was on Idol," he explained, "I was producing this show, and I used to go down to the auditions and I used to think, 'I think I would actually prefer to be on Got Talent than Idol because I like the variety of the acts. It all worked out. I'm happy for [Idol] coming back and then I'm happy for myself that I can do this show."

Simon signed a deal last fall that will have him staying on the AGT judging panel for the next three seasons.


Do you think Simon Cowell made the right move in turning down ABC's Idol offer? Would you have wanted him to come back? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

American Idol will return during the 2017-2018 TV season on ABC, and America's Got Talent season 12 premieres Tuesday, May 30 at 8/7c on NBC. Want more news? Like our American Idol and America's Got Talent Facebook pages.

(Image courtesy of NBC)