Simon Cowell confirmed today what had been rumored for weeks, that he will indeed leave "American Idol" after the upcoming ninth season. But Simon fans don't have to be too upset, as Simon is launching a US version of his hit UK singing competition "The X Factor" which will premiere on FOX in the fall of 2011. "We reached an agreement formally at about half past 10 this morning" said Cowell. "Where we have come to is that The X Factor will launch in America in 2011, with me judging the show and executive producing the show. Because of that this will be my last season on American Idol, this year. I want to leave Idol this year bigger and better than it’s ever been before. Having already done the auditions, it feels fresh, it feels relevant. I like the contestants this year. This final year for me feels different. I never would have wanted to walk out when the show was No. 21 in the ratings. You want to leave on a high. It’s been a fantastic time. We’re going to do something new. America needs a different type of show." That new show is "The X Factor" a competition which features four judges mentoring four groups of contestants - boys, girls, groups and over 25s. "It’s a big, big production" Simon said. "There is no upper age limit on X Factor and groups are allowed to enter. We gave ourselves time to set it up. It gives us time to work out who the judging panel will be". One possibly for a judge is Paula Abdul, who left Idol last season. "I’m doing X Factor in America because I believe I can find someone incredibly talented through this process,” Simon continued. “This country, thank God, has got thousands and thousands of people still waiting to be discovered. I want to find a star at the end, I genuinely do".
Are you sad Simon is leaving "Idol"? Excited about "X Factor"? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!