It was during the US Television Critics Association press tour that entertainment chairman Peter Rice announced that the American Idol judge Simon Cowell will quit the reality show after this season to launch another reality singing competition on Fox, The X Factor, in the second half of 2011.
Cowell, in the final year of his Idol contract, had already intimated that he could leave the series, which made him a star in the U.S., and launch an American version of X Factor, which he owns.
Fox’s X Factor, from Idol co-producer FremantleMedia and Simon’s Syco, will be close in format to the British original. In Cowell’s show, contestants audition in front of an audience (like they do on America’s Got Talent). It will feature singers aged 14 and up split into groups and mentored by one of the show’s four judges. The judge will be responsible for their styling, choreography, choice of song and in essence, the judge becomes the judged.