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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 8

Simon Cowell: I may have to leave 'American Idol' after next year

By Christopher Rocchio, 04/13/2009 

Between Britain's Got Talent, The X Factor and American Idol, Simon Cowell is apparently a busy guy -- causing him to wonder if he could do without the only one that films stateside. Again.

Cowell has once again hinted that he might leave his stint as an Idol judge after the five-season agreement he signed with Fox in November 2005 expires following the show's ninth installment.

"Most people do one show a year and I do three. It just so happens that one is in America and two are in England and they do involve a lot of traveling.  One may have to go. I don't know how to decide which one. That is the problem, I like all of them," Cowell told the U.K.'s The Mirror newspaper in a Saturday report.

"I can't imagine not doing Britain's Got Talent and I can't imagine not doing X Factor. But I guess America is more likely to go because I have got one year under contract. Maybe that will be the end."

While the 2005 deal between Cowell and Fox leaves the door open for him to return for a tenth Idol edition if he so chooses, the sharp-tongued British judge previously revealed possible plans to end his Idol run.

"There comes a point where you've got to move on... You've got to say when you're time is up," Cowell told Extra following Idol's Spring 2007 sixth season.

Last December, Cowell reiterated that he was confident Idol could go on without him.

"It could still continue without me.  I've always believed that," he told reporters at the time. 

"This show is successful all over the world and I'm only on American Idol.  I'll make a decision next year as to what I do as an on-screen judge because there is a big, big schedule now and I do two other shows, so it's been hard.  I think that this show could continue for another 10, 20 years, to be honest with you."

Most recently, Cowell hinted that The X Factor -- not Idol -- would be the show he might leave, allowing Sharon Osbourne's replacement Cheryl Cole to take the reigns.

"My hope is that she can carry the show in the future," he told Britain's The Times newspaper last month.

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