simon and paula on stage american idol finale

Now that American Idol will officially return to TV audiences for next year's rebooted version for ABC, we'll all get a chance to experience the reality competition like it was the very first time. And it makes sense for the network to try and give fans a similar experience to the one they had the first time, right? As such, ABC reportedly reached out to the host with the most (harsh barbs for amateur singers), Simon Cowell, to see if he'd be interested in returning as host. In his surprisingly non-grating words:

I was asked to do it, and the answer is no. I have no interest. My memories are when we first started. It was a different time with Randy [Jackson], Ryan [Seacrest] and Paula [Abdul]. You can't recreate that. . . . Last time I watched, it was not the same show, just the same name. I left for a reason and I never regretted that.

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I'm sure he could have made his point more clear if he had fired a fake pistol and a flag popped out with the word "NO!" printed on it, but Simon Cowell made it pretty damned obvious that he has beyond little interest in returning to a former gig whose fame he was largely responsible for. The fact that it'll be on a new network doesn't appear to have much of a pull there.

Now, Simon Cowell did return to American Idol for a surprise appearance in the series finale on Fox, and lo, dawg, it was a sight to see him once again next to Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. But it was a sight that will have to live on in our memory banks and on YouTube, because Cowell is likely to stay far away from Idol's new digs. At least until someone gives him a good enough reason to make the trip.

Simon Cowell is a pretty busy entertainer, after all. He's one of the hosts of America's Got Talent, and his first season there won over producers enough that they locked him down for three more seasons. He'll possibly be too busy to do any American Idol judging anyway. But then again, it's reported that ABC is still going after Ryan Seacrest, even though the former host recently took a major gig alongside Kelly Ripa for Live with Kelly and Ryan, so somebody is obviously hoarding optimism over at ABC.

American Idol was dealing with one lawsuit after another in the interim between leaving Fox and getting picked up by ABC, but the focus is obviously all on the future now, and fans can expect to see the show popping up on the primetime schedule during Midseason 2018. In the meantime, head to our summer TV schedule to see all the new and returning shows hitting the small screen in the near future.

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