Simon Cowell is leaving American Idol.
It was supposed to be a secret, but Simon's brother Tony Cowell spilled it on his podcast "The Cowell Factor."
Tony added: "A press statement is being prepared which will confirm what everybody expected: Simon will leave Idol at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing the American version of X Factor to U.S. TV in 2011."
X Factor is a hit in the U.K. and Simon hopes to have it on American television by 2011. His contract with Idol is up at the end of 2010.
Simon is on vacation and unavailable for comment. He has been working on building an American TV empire for months and now events have taken a dramatic turn. Jill Hudson, Fox Spokesperson, said the network has no comment.
Paula Abdul will be replaced by Ellen DeGeneres in the upcoming season, but most experts agree there's no replacing Simon, whose candor, wit and biting sarcasm have been the crucial ingredient in pushing the show into a ratings super hit.
Of course we expect Fox to make a mighty $$$$ effort to retain Simon, but as of right now the music's over after 2010.