“I was asked to do it, and the answer is no,” Simon admitted. “I have no interest. My memories are when we first started. It was a different time with Randy [Jackson], Ryan [Seacrest] and Paula [Abdul]. You can’t recreate that.”
Simon did try to re-create part of that when he hired Paula as a judge for The X Factor US, and he ended up firing her and others after the first season.
He added that he doesn’t regret leaving Idol after season 9: “Last time I watched, it was not the same show, just the same name. I left for a reason and I never regretted that.”
He said, “[ABC and I] spoke about it, and they did ask me but no — and I’ll tell you why. First of all, I’m committed to [America’s Got Talent] and I made a commitment to this show and I do like being on this show. And secondly, when I really, really thought about it, it was kind of like, ‘How can you go back again?'”
Simon went on to say, “When I left [Idol] the last time, at the time it felt like the right thing to do. When we very, very first started it, it was kind of like fun, crazy, naive. None of us really knew what we were doing. That was a fantastic panel, by the way.”
There were a handful of years in which Simon was working on both Idol (on screen) and AGT (behind the scenes) at the same time. During that time, he realized that Talent was the show he enjoyed more.
“Even when I was on Idol,” he explained, “I was producing this show, and I used to go down to the auditions and I used to think, ‘I think I would actually prefer to be on Got Talent than Idol because I like the variety of the acts. It all worked out. I’m happy for [Idol] coming back and then I’m happy for myself that I can do this show.”
Do you think Simon Cowell made the right move in turning down ABC’s Idol offer? Would you have wanted him to come back? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.