Simon Cowell on 'Oprah': We Need a Judge Who 'Knows What They're Talking About'

The Idol judge, on the eve of his exit from the series that made him a household name, talks to O about Ellen DeGeneres, depression, and fatherhood

So long, Simon! That's what American Idol fans will be saying next week as the judge we love to hate, Simon Cowell, steps down from his throne on the immensely popular series.
But before his last season on Idol ends, Cowell appeared on today's Oprah Winfrey Show to chat with the 56-year-old daytime host about Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Abdul, his romance with Mezhgan Hussainy (and whether they'll ever have kids), his potential AI replacement, and his bouts with depression.

Cowell acknowledged to Winfrey that announcing his departure from American Idol (he'll soon launch a U.S. version of his U.K. talent contest X Factor) on the same day DeGeneres joined Idol was poor timing. "I think it was difficult for Ellen because the timing was horrific," he said. "On her first day, and I hadn't thought about this, I announce I'm leaving. And she didn't know. And I think that put her into a very tricky situation. And then everyone starts getting a bit paranoid about who my replacement is...."

So who does Cowell think should replace him? "A couple of weeks ago, I remember we were arguing or whatever, kidding around on the panel...there were only about five people left and I remember suddenly thinking at that point, 'I think it's too much about the judges at the moment and we've forgotten what the contestants are going through,'" he says during his chat with Oprah. "I think, primarily, you've got to have somebody on that panel who actually knows what they're talking about."

And Cowell certainly thinks he and his fiancee make a great team, too. The British curmudgeon tells Winfrey his relationship with her is, "perfect" and that he "wouldn't change a thing." But will they ever have kids? "I worry about that because of my age," he says. "You know, when I was younger, you know, my dad used to play soccer and games with me and I worry...that if I was 70…It worries me a bit." 
Of course, getting engaged all feels quite new to Cowell. "I never thought I'd be with one person," he tells Oprah. "I never genuinely thought anyone would want to live with me."
Part of that reason, Cowell admitts, was due to his battle with depression. He explained,  "I'm very dark when I'm in those moments. I'm very down."
Will you miss Simon Cowell on American Idol? Chime in below!
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