It's just been announced that this will be Simon Cowell's last season on American Idol. An American version of Cowell's popular UK reality competition show, X Factor, will launch in the fall of 2011, with Simon as a judge. Simon told the press today in Pasadena, California, "We did talk about me staying on both shows but when we looked at the practicalities of that, it was impossible. In my opinion, it's like having a good player and a good football team. The two have to be OK together." Speaking about Idol, he added, "I'm confident it will continue to be the No. 1 show. Everyone is committed to keeping it that way." Simon also admitted, "I was offered a lot of money to stay on....[but] I wanted to do something different. I wanted a new challenge."
X Factor is like American Idol, except there is no age limit, and groups can enter as well as solo artists. X Factor is the show that launched Leona Lewis' career, and version of it are already airing in different countries. Simon said they're still working out who the judging panel will be, but rumors have been swirling for months that Paula Abdul may end up on the show.