Photo Credit: Harpo
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."
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