Simon Cowell On Leaving 'Idol': 'I Can't Hide When I'm Bored'

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    TK
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    "American Idol" wants Simon Cowell to get paid big time, to the tune of $144 million a year.

    Simon Cowell says he has a good reason for leaving "American Idol" at this season's end – he's bored.

    "After a while, you start to go on automatic pilot," he explained on "Oprah" on Thursday. "Too many times, I was sitting there [at the judges' table] bored. The audience deserves more than that … and I can't hide when I'm bored."

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    However, Simon's not done with reality competitions, leaving to launch a U.S. edition of the UK hit, "X Factor" – and he told Oprah he still gets a charge out of sitting at the judges' table.

    "I actually like doing it, funny enough," Simon said. "I remember ['Idol' Season 3 winner] Fantasia singing 'Summertime,' and for three minutes, I lost myself. I like the buzz it creates. You want to be part of something people are talking about. I love that feeling."

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    The new show, he explained, will offer a few rules changes from "Idol" that he thinks will liven things up.

    "There's no upper age limit," he said. "Singing groups can enter the show. I have no idea whether it's going to work or not, but I'll put its success and failure on whether we can find a star."

    While he may be wrapping up "Idol," the sharp-tongued star said his judging skills are as good as ever.

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    "I do trust my judgment as somebody who can spot a potential star," he said.

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