Love him or loath him it is indisputable that the real star of American Idol is a certain Mr Simon Cowell, the nastiest Judge to hit America since Isaac Parker in the 19th century.
Well it looks like Simon is tired of being Mr Nasty in some else's show, despite being paid over $35 million to do so, and wants to be Mr Nasty in his own show. Press reports suggest that he is preparing to bring his his mega-successful show X-Factor from the UK to the USA.
Cowell, whose "Idol" contract expires in May and who has been in talks with Fox since last summer, is preparing to announce the new arrangement with Fox early next year which will see him leaving AI in 2011 to front a US version of the X-Factor.
"There are discussions going on with 'American Idol' and also about the possibility of bringing 'X Factor' to the United States, but no decisions have been made, and nothing has been finalized," Cowell's spokesman Max Clifford said.
"The X Factor" is a British phenomenon produced by Cowell, who's also a judge on the show. Unlike on "Idol," Cowell and two other judges mentor the "X Factor" contestants, adding competition as the judges -- as well as the musicians -- are competing against one another.
"X Factor" also allows groups to compete in addition to solo singers; "Idol" does not. But just like on "Idol," viewers vote on which singers stay or go.
Since its debut four years ago, "The X Factor" has been one of the most popular shows in Britain. More than 19 million people, the show's biggest audience ever, tuned in Sunday night to watch singer Joe McElderry win in the finale. The winner of the show's third season, Leona Lewis, has become an international recording star.
Will AI survive the loss of Cowell, it could possibly if the right panel is found, however the likely hood is that FOX current home of "Idol" and future home of the American version of the X-Factor is likely to support both and that ultimately would prove the death knell for AI.
As Simon would say "I am sorry...it is a no from me!