There is no person more synonymous with American Idol than Simon Cowell. Cowell, who is a staple in the music industry, was a judge on the singing show from its beginnings in 2002 until 2010, when he left the program. In those many years, Cowell proved himself to be the most critical judge of the three, offering honest and practical critiques rather than sugar coating anything.
Cowell was known for being far harsher than either of his co-judges, though he was also praised for his honesty regarding the potential and the performances of people hoping to become the next American Idol.
American Idol is arguably Cowell’s most public success. It was one of the reasons he became a household name in the 200s, after all. Why, then, did Simon Cowell choose to leave American Idol?
There may be several factors at play here. By the time Cowell left in 2010, the “original three” judges had been split up. The replacements that Fox chose were not nearly as interesting nor did they have as entertaining a dynamic with Cowell—such as his frequency snarky battles with original judge Paula Abdul. Abdul, who was well known for her tendency to be exceptionally soft-hearted when offering criticism or declining the people who were auditioning, did not always agree with Cowell’s more direct criticisms.
Another factor that may have played a part in his decision to leave the show was his desire for more input in the production of the show—in other words, he may have wanted more creative control over American Idol than the Fox network was willing to give him. By leaving for another show, on which he has creative control, Cowell may have been deciding to give up the more popular show for a risk that he believed was worth it.
Of course, a very logical reason that Cowell may have decided to leave was that he simply felt it was his time. He may have been bored with American Idol or felt that the program was stagnating, especially after so many years on the air. It is not uncommon for actors or participations to decide to leave a longstanding show, especially if they want to pursue different parts of their career. It may very well be that Cowell believed it was his time to leave the American Idol spotlight for a show of his own. Watch Simon on several different television programs online by clicking here.