Hey folks, it’s Niki here just filling in for Sharmila “Sharm on the Scene” Nair, who’s out of KL on assignment.

She’ll be back in a few days (and maybe report on some celebrity sighting in, er, Terengganu?).

In the mean time, the big news of the day – announced just hours ago – is the departure of Simon Cowell from American Idol! Shock, horror!

Yup, after a few months of speculation – his own brother said that Simon would leave at the end of season 10 – Simon has announced that he will indeed leave the popular reality singing competition at the end of this season.

It’s only season nine!

Don’t worry about him though, because he will be back soon enough as the Executive Producer, and judge, of the popular British reality talent show X Factor when it hits the United States.

The move is seen as a natural one considering that X Factor is Simon’s own project. It will air on Fox, the same network that American Idol has been  showing on.

First Paula (she got fired, that’s different) and now Simon. What’s going to happen to American Idol?

Well, we’ll just have to see how Ellen Degeneres, who takes over Paula this season fares. She is taking Simon’s leaving personally though.

“So this just happened, Simon Cowell just announced that he’s leaving ‘Idol.’ This will be his last season. He announced he’s leaving on my first day. I’m trying not to take it personally,” she said in jest, according to a report by CNN Entertainment.

Niki says: Way to generate hype for the show (which kicks off tomorrow, by the way)! What do you guys think will happen to Idol after he leaves? Comment away!

Tell us what you think!

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