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Who's Going to Be the Next Simon Cowell?

Tue, January 12, 2010 10:00am EDT by Add first Comment

011210_AM_News544Simon dropped the X-Bomb yesterday — he’s saying “Sayonara” to American Idol!

X-Factor has been a hugely successful talent show in England, and now Simon Cowell is bringing his creation across the pond. Of course they made the — that’ll guarantee blockbuster ratings for tonight’s show, and probably for the whole season. Everyone’s going to want to see Simon’s last stand.

He won’t compete directly with Idol because X will be in the fall, and Idol in the winter and spring. In any case, AI will be Simon-less for the first time in its American existence, and many people feel he’s the special ingredient that makes the whole Idol mix work.

In our poll, 82% of you say you’re sorry he’s leaving, and that it could affect whether you watch the show.

What’s more, the show already took another hit when it lost Paula earlier this year, and it seems even stranger that FOX let the kooky Abdul off the judges’ desk when they knew that they were in talks with Simon already for X-Factor and that could mean she could leave.

As Simon said yesterday about Paula, “I have gone on record with this before: I adore Paula. Whatever happens, I will be working with her in some way.”

Bonnie says: “Paula’s been suspiciously silent for the past few months and I think t there could already be a deal in the works between Simon and Paula. Because she’s the salt to his pepper! And people like familiarity, and they’re familiar with them as a team. And Paula’s going to be very missed off the show this season, even with Ellen, who’s almost too strong a personality as Simon foil. Sometimes having two stars isn’t a good thing.” And TMZ backs up Bonnie’s contention: They reported yesterday that Simon’s “courting” Paula for the US X-Factor.

So now, the morning after Simon’s big announcement, the most pressing question is: Who’s going to be big enough to fill Simon’s Ferragamo loafers — and does that person need to have a background in music, a fine-tuned ear, or simply, a big opinion and an entertaining way of expressing it. In our overnight poll, the top three contenders for Simon’s seat were Piers Morgan, one of the judges on America’s Got Talent (which Simon produces), Kathy Griffin, and even all-singing, all-dancing Hugh Jackman!

When Bonnie talked to Piers recently and asked him whether he would be the new Simon, he laughed, got red, and was very evasive. Hmmmm.

Other names have been thrown around: Clive Davis, the legendary music producer who has managed some of the Idols’ careers, Quincy Jones (another music legend of producer of Michael Jackson’s Thriller), Jay-Z, Diddy, and Lady Gaga.