Interviewed by Oprah yesterday, Simon Cowell blamed Paula Abdul’s departure from American Idol in part for the show’s declining ratings and slammed his fellow judges when discussing his replacement.
“You’ve got to have somebody on that panel who actually knows what they’re talking about. Everyone’s talking about casting a nasty person or getting another Brit. If we were judging the ice skating Olympics, you wouldn’t have somebody on who’s obnoxious, you’d have somebody who knows the difference between a 10, a 9 and an 8. I think, to a point, you kind of have to go back to that,” he said, according to Oprah’s web site.
While you might read this as a dig against Ellen DeGeneres, as some have been doing, he’s actually suggesting that when he’s gone, there will be no one left who “actually knows what they’re talking about.”
He reiterates that point discussing Paula Abdul’s departure, speaking in the past tense about the judging panel: “We had a great team. The show’s a different show” now, he said, blaming the ratings decline in part on her exit.