Simon Cowell Is New ‘America’s Got Talent’ Judge — “I’m Not Going To Lie To People” Cowell Says [VIDEO]

Simon Cowell is getting ready to crush the dreams of contestants on America’s Got Talent.

Cowell is set to become the new judge on America’s Got Talent, replacing Howard Stern who stepped down at the end of the previous season of the reality TV talent show. Us Weekly reports that this is a decision that was first put forward five years ago by NBC.

“We’ve been talking about it for a few years, funny enough, me and NBC,” Cowell told Us Weekly, before saying the network approached him about the hosting job five years ago. But, things didn’t work out back then.

“This year… everything worked. So it was perfect.”

Cowell has made a name for himself on reality TV talent shows, beginning with his stint as a member of the first panel of judges on American Idol. He became known for his brutal honesty, as he dispensed harsh criticism to hopeful contestants eager for a chance at stardom.

He was a judge on American Idol for nine seasons, from the first season in 2002 to the Season 9 in 2011. Simon Cowell has also served as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, X Factor and Pop Idol. The last time he was on American television, he was judging the third and final season of The X Factor (U.S.), which ended in 2013. Cowell has also been very influential in developing the major pop acts that come out of these shows, like Leona Lewis and One Direction.

LA Reid and Simon Cowell on the 'X Factor' red carpet

“I’m not going to lie to people when I think they’re hopeless, I just couldn’t do that!” he said. “But no, of course I’m not going to be rude for the sake of being rude. That would be ridiculous. I’ll take it act by act.”

Howard Stern was one of the America’s Got Talent judges for four seasons, from 2012 to 2015. He announced his decision to leave the show on his Sirius radio show by stating that his workload would be too heavy given that he had to balance American’s Got Talent, his radio show and a new television opportunity.

“I thought it would be really cool to be a judge, because I think I have something to offer,” Simon Cowell said during his farewell segment, CBS News reported.”If I had any dream about this, it’s that I could take someone who was struggling and seriously give advice. I was told over and over again that I had no talent. I was in college radio. No one was banking on me.”

America’s Got Talent Season 10 saw ventriloquist Paul Zerdin crowned the winner. He outperformed Piff the Magic Dragon, the Craig Lewis Band, the Professional Regurgitator and Uzeyer Novruzov to take the prize.

Zerdin won $1 million and now headlines a show in Las Vegas from Oct 22 to Oct 24 at Planet Hollywood.

The Simon Cowell announcement should really come as no surprise to anyone who knows the history of America’s Got Talent, Gossip Cop reports. Cowell is actually one of the co-creators of the show but had never appeared on the judging panel before. All that will change next season.

“I think the ‘America’s Got Talent’ show honestly is one of the best talent shows in the world,” said the controversial British talent judge during an interview on the Today show.

It’s unclear whether there will be any further changes to the America’s Got Talent judges. Season 10 saw Howie Mendel, Heidi Klum, Mel B judging alongside Howard Stern. There’s no word yet on whether that will be the case on America’s Got Talent Season 11. They are, however, still listed as hosts on the AGT website. Simon Cowell’s name and picture have been added to the roster.

According to Us Weekly, auditions are currently being held for America’s Got Talent Season 11 in cities like Los Angeles, Detroit, New York and Kansas City.