Simon’s Brother Says He’s Leaving ‘American Idol’

Simon’s Brother Says He’s Leaving ‘American Idol’

You’ve played Simon Says, but today it’s all about what Simon’s Brother Says: Tony Cowell, Simon’s older bro, says American Idol judge Simon will be leaving the show after season nine (which debuts on Fox on Jan. 12), so he can focus on bringing his U.K. talent search series X Factor to America.

True? Or just another Simon-is-leaving-AI rumor? According to, Fox reps and Simon Cowell’s personal rep have both failed to comment on the story, which Tony Cowell shared with the listeners of his podcast.

Which brings about several questions: If Simon goes, is that the end of AI? I say yes; an Idol sans Paula Abdul can endure, but a Cowell-less AI … what’s the point? To give us another milquetoast talent like Kris Allen? Nah, I’m gonna need a big dose of Simon to get through another season with a potential winner like Allen waiting at the end.

Another question (as pointed out by an reader): Who the who is Tony Cowell, and why does he have a podcast, and why is anyone listening to this podcast? Is it only because he’s Simon’s bro? Is he the Billy Carter/Roger Clinton of the Cowell clan?

Let’s hear from other Idol devotees: Would you continue to watch if Simon was no longer a regular part of the show? Will you watch this season, the first without Abdul? And if yes, will you watch out of habit, or are you still excited about the show?

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