So Long, Simon! Cowell Confirms He's Leaving 'American Idol'

The game of musical chairs at the American Idol judges' table is hardly over. In a bombshell announcement, Simon Cowell has confirmed rumors that he will leave the cast of Fox's ratings juggernaut at the end of the 2010 season.

On Monday, at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., the tough-talking Idol judge cited his new TV project as the reason behind his departure from the hit show, according to People.com . "The X Factor will launch in 2011," he told reporters at the conference. "Because of that, this will be my last season on American Idol."

The X Factor is a talent competition Cowell already successfully launched in the U.K., and according to a Fox press release, he will executive produce (and star as a judge) on the upcoming American version. Meanwhile, Idol is about to launch season 9 with new episodes beginning Tuesday -- but without longtime judge Paula Abdul, who departed the show in 2009 and was replaced during hiatus by Ellen DeGeneres.

Plus: Paula Abdul Speaks Out on Ellen's 'Idol' Hiring

Will you watch American Idol without Simon Cowell at the judges' table? Chime in below! 

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