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STAGE TUBE: Constantine Maroulis Reacts to Cowell's 'Idol' Departure

Following the announcement yesterday that American Idol mastermind Simon Cowell would be leaving the show after nine seasons to bring The X Factor to Fox in early 2011, Tony-nominee and former Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis appeared on CBS' The Early show to weigh in on Idol's loss.  See what the Rock of Ages star has to say about Simon's parting below!

Cowell will continue on American Idol through this season alongside Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, and newcomer Ellen Degeneres.  The series premieres tonight at 8pm EST on Fox.

Cowell, who created and launched THE X FACTOR in the U.K. in 2004, will serve as both executive producer and judge on the U.S. version of The X Factor, which will be produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America.

It seems American Idol will go on, as FOX's current deal with American Idol producers, FremantleMedia and 19 Productions, runs through 2011 but a new deal guarantees three additional seasons of the show, with or without Cowell.

Cowell signed his X Factor contract today and claims to be leaving the show simply because he wants to move onto new things and, as THE X FACTOR has fewer rules for the judges, he is hoping to find the American Susan Boyle.  Says the talent show master of Idol's future, however: "I'm confident it will continue to be the No. 1 show."

Fox executive Peter Rice says that the network is committed to both The X Factor and Idol. Additional X Factor judges will be announced shortly.

Speculation on Cowell's exit began in December when Simon Cowell's brother, Tony Cowell, revealed on his weekly The Cowell Factor podcast that Simon would be leaving the show in 2010 to concentrate on other ventures. Said Tony, "A press statement is being prepared which will confirm what everybody expected: Simon will leave Idol at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing the American version of The X Factor to U.S. TV in 2011."

The X Factor is currently shown in 17 countries worldwide with a global audience of more than 500 million, and is the No. 1 TV entertainment format in Europe. Cowell will continue to serve as both executive producer and judge on the U.K. version. The X Factor format is owned by Syco, a global music, television and film production joint venture between Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment.


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