Cross one original American Idol judge off the list for ABC’s reboot of the singing competition. Simon Cowell told Extra tonight that he “was asked to do it, and the answer is no.”

The once-polarizing Cowell left Idol in 2010 and these days is making and shattering dreams as a judge for America’s Got Talent on NBC, where he is under a deal. He’s also on Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor in the UK.  “I have no interest [in Idol],” he told Extra. “My memories are when we first started. It was a different time with Randy [Jackson], Ryan [Seacrest] and Paula [Abdul]. You can’t re-create that.”


Idol, of course, was an out-of-the-box smash when it premiered on Fox in 2002, drawing huge ratings and crowning a winner in Kelly Clarkson who would become one of the show’s most enduring recording stars. It was the No. 1 network show in primetime into the early 2010s, Cowell seemed to find glee in destroying singers he felt didn’t make the grade. Fans loved and hated him for it.

ABC, which long has hungered for a successful singing competition show, sealed a deal this week to bring Idol back for the 2017-18 season. It has yet to set a host or a judges panel.