UK’s ITV television has confirmed that Simon Cowell will not return to the X Factor UK as a weekly judge.
ITV claims they are “completely comfortable” with Simon’s decision not to split his time between the US and UK versions of the program. Both air roughly at the same time, and would require Simon to jet back and forth between the US and UK in order to appear on both.
Maybe ITV became comfortable with the idea of losing Simon as an on-air presence on X Factor when they saw how American Idol was able to make the transition to a new panel without losing viewers.
ITV said Cowell would continue to be “an enormous presence backstage” on X Factor UK and that it would be in constant discussions with him to ensure the show “continues to evolve”.
Meanwhile, the audition phase of X Factor US is in full swing, with cattle call auditions scheduled around the country. The live auditions will be filmed in May and June, and the show begins to air on FOX in September.
Music mogul LA Reid, former chairman of the Island Def Jam record label, has already been confirmed as a US judge alongside Simon. Cheryl Cole is rumored to have a spot on the panel and Simon confirmed in a recent radio interview that Mariah Carey would play a role on the show.