Simon Cowell Confirms American Idol Departure

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It has been rumored for weeks, but now it's official: Simon Cowell will exit American Idol after this season.

At the Television Critics Association Press Tour in California today, Cowell confirmed that he's bringing his British hit The X Factor to the U.S. in 2011 and leaving one singing competition for the other.

“We did talk about me staying on both shows, but when we looked at the practicalities of that, it was impossible,” he told the media. “I’m confident [American Idol] will continue to be the No. 1 show. Everyone is committed to keeping it that way.”

Simon Cowell Photo

We're not so sure. The X Factor is practically identical to Idol, with the only differences being the lack of an age limit and the allowance of groups on stage.

Will you continue to watch American Idol in Simon's absence?

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.