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Shocker! Simon Cowell Says ‘American Idol’ Is Better Off Without Him

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

I fully admit that I expected "American Idol" to die an unceremonious death the moment Simon Cowell left the Fox soundstage, and no one was more surprised than I was when the show continued--and even rebounded from last year's lackluster Season 9--with new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. But you know what's even more surprising? That Simon is a) actually watching "American Idol" this year, and b) he's confessed that "Idol" is better off without him!

Simon recently taped an interview for his old "Britain's Got Talent" crony Piers Morgan's CNN show, which will air next Monday, March 14--and he shockingly told Piers: "I personally think ['Idol'] is a better show than last year. I genuinely mean that. I think what they have got is that they have their energy back, they are confident, they are competitive."

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Simon also gave props to the new "American Idol" staff (which includes his supposed nemesis, returning producer Nigel Lythgoe), telling Piers: "I said to everyone on ['The X Factor'], 'If you think 'Idol' is going to be the same as last year, think again.' They are working 10 times as hard, as I would. And I think it's a good show. I can't really fault it. It's not the show I would make myself, that's why I moved from the show in the first place. I want to make something different. But for 'Idol,' based on last year, I think it's better."

Well, Simon is right, as usual--Season 9 is widely regarded as one of the worst "Idol" seasons--but I'm still flabbergasted that he'd so readily admit this on national television. I'd always envisioned Simon bitterly stewing over the fact that the show had gone on without him, willing it to fail from the confines of his evil British lair. But his gentlemanly comments to Piers indicate that he's not threatened by his old show at all, and has completely, happily moved on to "The X Factor." YOU think "American Idol" is better off without Simon Cowell?

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