"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 correspondent Terri Seymour, his real-life girlfriend, in an interview broadcast on the syndicated entertainment news show's Tuesday broadcast.
However although Cowell says he's planning to leave Idol, he isn't -- unlike Trump -- expecting to actually leave the show anytime soon. Prior to last year's fifth Idol's season, Cowell signed a new five-season agreement with Fox that will keep the sharp-tongued British judge working on the show through at least its ninth installment.
"This is the year I decided that on American Idol, once I've done 10 [seasons], you're time's up. It's time then to do something new," Cowell -- seemingly unaware that he's already appeared on six editions of Idol and his current contract is for three more installments, making the total nine, not 10 -- told Seymour.
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, Cowell is apparently satisfied with walking away.
"No [I won't re-sign for Idol]," he told Seymour. "I think it's then time to bring in new people because I think, you know, 10 years is a long, long time. And we've just got to make the next three great."
Given he says he has "50 to 60 shows in production around the world," Cowell should have no problem keeping busy in his post-Idol days.
"I think I'd rather just drop dead then retire... At least it's quick," Cowell told Seymour, who then asked who should serve as his replacement on Idol's judging panel.
"Donald Trump!" Cowell responded excitedly. Seymour then pointed out Trump has no musical experience. "Well I haven't got a lot," he answered.