Piers Morgan dodges talk about replacing Simon Cowell on 'Idol'
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/05/2010
Oddsmakers feel Piers Morgan is the favorite to replace Simon Cowell should he decide to leave American Idol, however the America's Got Talent judge is dodging public comment on the possibility.
"Simon Cowell is my boss, I have to be very careful here... I don't think anyone can replace Simon Cowell. I think he is irreplaceable. He is the dark master," said Morgan while serving as Today's guest co-host during the fourth hour of Tuesday's broadcast.
"But if he were to leave, someone must get in there," Today co-host Hoda Kotb countered.
"It's hypothetical," replied Morgan. "I'm not sure he's leaving."
Morgan added that he finds it "disconcerting" that he's even being considered the favorite to replace Cowell, who created America's Got Talent and also serves as a judge on the show's Britain's Got Talent U.K. edition alongside Morgan and British actress Amanda Holden.
"The only reason people are saying that I'm the favorite is because I'm probably presumed to be as mean as he is, which I feel quite upset about because I'm actually Mr. Nice Guy," he told Kotb.
Late last month, Tony Cowell claimed his younger brother is leaving Idol to launch an American edition of his The X Factor U.K. reality competition when his current contract expires following this year's Idol edition. Fox hasn't commented on the claim.
"Would you do that job if they offered it to you?" Kotb asked Morgan point-blank.
"It's a fantastic job," answered Morgan, dancing around the question again. "Simon is the master. I think it will be entirely down to him what happens."
Others considered as favorites to possibly land Cowell's Idol position should he vacate it include rapper, producer and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs, music producer Quincy Jones, rapper and producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Idol creator Simon Fuller, music executive Rob Stevenson and entrepreneur Russell Simmons, according to Bookmaker.com.
While Morgan didn't seem too convinced that Cowell is actually leaving Idol, he spoke about Cowell's plan to bringThe X Factor stateside -- which has reportedly been in the works for months but has yet to be finalized -- as a done deal.
"He's got this new show coming -- The X Factor -- which Americans haven't seen yet," said Morgan.
"It's the smash hit show in Britain. It's an amazing show. So when that launches in America, wait. It's going to be the biggest thing you've seen on TV for years."