Simon Cowell has revealed why, in the end, he really left the No. 1 show on U.S. TV, "American Idol."
According to an article in the weekly print edition of The Hollywood Reporter, "In the end, Cowell says he didn’t see much personal or professional gain from the [‘American Idol’ business] arrangement, other than the payday. ‘My attitude on "Idol" was, I didn’t have anything,’ he elaborates. ‘I had a stupid three- or four-year license for the records, and that’s not what I wanted or expected.’
Of course, it was quite a payday, worth, some reports say, more than $50 million a year.
Still, Cowell tells The Reporter that it bothers him when he reads or hears remarks playing down his role in "Idol’s" popularity: " ‘The truth is, I was a big part of "Idol" being a success,’ says Cowell. ‘I worked my nuts off. Then when you read catty comments that play down my role, that’s disrespectful.’ "
In the THR article Cowell also goes into some detail about what happened with Cheryl Cole, who was going to be a judge on Cowell’s upcoming "The X-Factor" on Fox, but who ended up getting replaced after a few days of taping. Cole had originally been a judge on the U.K . version of "The X-Factor," which has been a big hit. Unlike on "Idol," where Cowell was just a hired hand, he owns "The X-Factor."
According to the article, "Cole’s quiet demeanor on camera prompted a call from Cowell on Day 2 of filming. ‘I said: "Cheryl, you’ve got to raise your game a bit. This is America, it’s a much tougher market." ‘ Cowell explored the idea of having her return to the U.K. show and had even secured a substantial pay raise (more than $4 million, according to a source); 24 hours later, they were negotiating the offer. ‘We had gotten to the point where she wanted my dressing room,’ Cowell continues. But Cowell says Cole then never responded to the final offer. They haven’t spoken since."