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Simon Cowell Confirms His Exit From 'American Idol'

January 12, 2010 (1:18 am) GMT
After this new season of 'American Idol' finishes, Simon Cowell will not return to the reality singing competition.

has announced he's quitting talent show "" when the new season ends in May (2010). Speculation about the music mogul's future on the show has been rife for months, with his brother Tony revealing a statement would be made in the early part of 2010 a month ago (December 2009).

He said, "A press statement is being prepared which will confirm what everybody expected: Simon will leave Idol at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing the American version of (U.K. talent show) "" to U.S. TV in 2011." And now Cowell has confirmed the news of his departure on the eve of the ninth series, which starts on Tuesday (January 12, 2009) in America.

In his statement, Cowell reveals he plans to launch his "X Factor" on U.S. TV in 2011. The news of the departure comes just months after judge quit the show over an alleged pay dispute in August (2009). She has been replaced by chat show host .

American Idol is the most watched TV show on U.S. TV.

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