Simon Cowell Will Leave "American Idol" If It's Not No. 1 In The Ratings

What’s the one thing that could really make Simon Cowell quit American Idol? Sharing a trailer with Paula Abdul? Having to kiss Susan Boyle?

Nope. If the show ever slips from its perch as the most-watched show on television, Simon says he’ll walk.

He has no interest on being on the show if it’s not No. 1, he told The Hollywood Reporter: “Being No. 1 is verging on an obsession with me. I don’t like being No. 2. I don’t mind when you start at No. 10 — people don’t always go on as No. 1 — and you’ve got somewhere to go. But if you’re at the point you’ve reached it, of course you want to stay there.”

That’s a bold statement, but in reality if Simon signs another five-year contract with Idol, as producers want him to, he probably won’t be able to just pick up and leave if the show loses viewers. But he continues to insist he won’t sign that new contract either:

“The idea that for the next five years, I’d be doing exactly what I’ve been doing for the past five years … the thought is just too depressing,” Simon told THR. “I’d go nuts, bored out of my mind. You have to evolve, you have to change. I like the challenge of launching something new.”

We’ve said Simon’s repeated overtures might just be negotiating ploys, even though he already makes $36 million a year. But maybe he’s not after more money.

Simon seems so gung-ho about his new UK show The X Factor and bringing it to the U.S.—something Fox has forbid him from doing under his current contract. Could it be that what he really wants is another Stateside show?

It would certainly satisfy his urge to launch something new, and we have a feeling Fox would want to keep Simon on Idol instead of losing him to another show—possibly on another network. And he definitely wants there to be another music show in the U.S. Why can’t it be his?

“We have to bring in another music show,” he told THR:

“In the U.K., there is more than one type of music show running throughout the year. And I think the same thing could happen here, because for the fall, nothing really happens. It’s something we’ve been thinking about … I would definitely do it now.”

“Maybe it’ll be X Factor, ” he teased vaguely. “Maybe it’ll be something new …”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.