Simon Cowell Claims ‘American Idol’ Flopped After He Left, Confirms Finale Return

Simon Cowell is confirming his return for American Idol‘s big finale and revealing that he thinks the show went downhill after he and fellow judge Paul Abdul left the show in 2009 and 2010.

Cowell recently spoke out about American Idol in a new interview with Yahoo!‘s The Insider while promoting America’s Got Talent, where Cowell claimed that he and Abdul are the reason the series, which is ending tonight after 15 seasons, had a steep decline in viewers after season 8.

“Paula was the right leg and I was the left leg. And with both legs gone, it wasn’t the same show,” Simon Cowell recently told Yahoo!, admitting that Abdul’s departure was a big part in why he opted to say bye-bye to American Idol the following year.

“To be honest I think it changed more significantly once Paula left, at least for me,” Simon said, “the show was never the same because she and I had such a connection and such a shorthand together.”

Simon Cowell Claims 'American Idol' Flopped After He Left, Confirms Finale Return
Simon also got candid about how the American Idol judging panel, which is currently made up of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr., has changed, confessing to the site that he hasn’t actually seen any recent episodes of the singing series.

“I haven’t seen it at all, so I wouldn’t have a clue as to what it looks like now,” Simon Cowell confessed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t be stopping by American Idol one final time to say farewell to the show that made him a household name.

As for whether or not he’ll be returning for American Idol‘s star studded final airing tonight, despite playing coy for the past few months, it appeared that Cowell finally confirmed in the new interview that he would in fact be attending tonight’s farewell.

“I think so, yeah. I think I should,” Simon said when asked if he’ll be popping up in tonight’s finale, which follows recent reports that Cowell made a “last minute decision” to cancel promotion plans in the U.K. to allow him to attend American Idol‘s final show in Los Angeles.

Simon Cowell Claims 'American Idol' Flopped After He Left, Confirms Finale Return
According to The Mirror, Simon Cowell postponed plans to promote the British version of America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent, on which he also serves on the judging panel, in the U.K. this week in order to join fellow American Idol stars like Ryan Seacrest and Carrie Underwood at the star-studded American Idol finale.

“Originally Simon wasn’t going to be involved in America but there have been some last minute changes and it now looks very hopeful he be on the show in the flesh alongside other judges,” a source revealed to The Mirror earlier this week, hinting that original judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson may also be joining him.

“Initially it seemed like Cowell would do a video message from London, but now it looks like he will be the star of the show, just like he was when the series was at its most popular,” the insider continued, citing Simon’s alleged tension with American Idol creator Simon Fuller as the main reason Simon originally opted to stay away from the final show.

“Cowell has issues with the show creator Simon Fuller and they are not the best of friends but [American Idol] was a huge part of Cowell’s life and the fact they have had their differences over the years is not a reason to stay away,” the source confirmed.

The American Idol finale is set to air on Fox tonight (April 7) at 8/7c p.m.

Are you looking forward to seeing Simon Cowell return to American Idol for the final time?

[Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]