Simon Cowell Threw Epic Shade At ‘American Idol’

As one of the original judges of American Idol, Simon Cowell has earned a solid place in pop culture history. The bitingly funny Cowell, who earned his stripes in the music business as a producer and promoter before his Idol judging stint, has since gone on to host other shows, but fans still know him best from his work on American Idol.

Still, Cowell recently made some remarks that indicate not only does he not feel sentimental about his time on the show, but that he has no interest in following along with it currently.

When did Simon Cowell start on ‘American Idol’?

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell | Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Born in 1959, Simon Cowell started working in the music industry at an early age. One of his first jobs as a young adult was at EMI Music Publishing. Cowell took the skills that he honed at EMI and used them to form his own business, Fanfare Records. While Cowell’s early career would experience ups and downs, he eventually found success promoting music artists. 

In 2002, Cowell accepted a job as a judge on the very first season of American Idol. The show was a risk for Cowell, as singing competition shows were entirely new to the public.

Along with fellow judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, Cowell offered commentary and criticism to contestants who hoped to make a career out of singing. As a stark contrast to Abdul and Jackson, Cowell was often sarcastic and straight-up rude to contestants. While many viewers loved his snark and sometimes-vicious put downs, finding him refreshingly real, many others thought that he was too mean to the nervous contestants. Still, Cowell became a firm fixture on American Idol, and for years, his place at the judge’s table was undisputed. 

Why did Simon Cowell leave ‘American Idol’?

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In 2010, Simon Cowell announced that he would be leaving American Idol. While fans were upset, Cowell has remained a firm fixture on television screens, appearing on shows such as America’s Got Talent and X Factor. At the time of his leaving, Cowell claimed that he wanted to explore other opportunities, like his upcoming gig on X Factor

Cowell eventually opened up about the real reason that he decided to leave Idol, claiming that it had a lot to do with the rules of the show. Cowell claimed that he fundamentally disagreed with the age restrictions placed on contestants. The rules stated only competitors between the ages of 16 – 28 were eligible to compete on the show, and Cowell thought that anyone, of any age, should have the same opportunity. 

What did Simon Cowell say recently about ‘American Idol’?

Simon Cowell has maintained an incredibly successful career, post-Idol. The one-time judge has found a place on America’s Got Talent, parlaying his signature wit and humor into judging a wide variety of acts, from juggling sensations to wannabe dancers. As it turns out, Cowell doesn’t really have time to keep up with Idol anymore.

Recently, Cowell was asked if he knew whether or not American Idol host Ryan Seacrest would be returning for the new season of the show — Cowell replied that he “has no idea” and actually hasn’t watched the show in many years. 

Cowell has been asked many times about whether or not he would ever consider rejoining the show as a judge. He stated that he has no interest in ever going back to Idol and that it was a “different time” when he was on the show. It’s certain that Cowell is one star who has no problem looking to the future instead of dwelling on the past.