“We just talked about that earlier. With Paula [Abdul] and Randy [Jackson]. Yeah, the three of us,” Cowell, 59, told Us Weekly and other reporters at the America’s Got Talent live show red carpet on Tuesday, August 20. “Could be the three of us. The last time I saw Kelly, she came when I got that star last year. Yeah … that meant a lot to me, you know, because, you know, she and I started the show.”
American Idol first premiered on Fox in 2002 with Cowell, Abdul, 57, and Jackson, 63, as the original judges. The “Love So Soft” singer, whose talk show is expected to debut on September 9, shot to instant pop stardom after winning season 1 of the show.
Cowell’s son Eric, 5, and Clarkson’s kids River, 5, and Remington, 3, “haven’t met yet,” but he will bring Eric “down to the show when I do it.” He also praised the Grammy winner for how far she has come since appearing on American Idol.
“Just seeing how she’s done as an artist. … Now how she’s progressed on TV — and not everyone’s like this, by the way,” he said of Clarkson on Tuesday. “I mean, she is the most loyal, nice person, I mean genuinely. You know, who she is on camera is who she is off-camera. But what’s great about Kelly is she’s always made her own decisions. She doesn’t need to be told what to do. She knows exactly what she’s doing. She’s a great person.”
The reality competition series aired for 15 seasons before wrapping in 2016 with Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr. as the A-list judging panel. However, it was revived on ABC in 2018 with Ryan Seacrest returning to host and Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie at the judge’s table.
Cowell, who also served as a judge on The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, exited American Idol in 2010. He joined America’s Got Talent, which he created in 2006, as Howard Stern’s replacement in 2016.
Earlier this month, Cowell was asked about rumors regarding Seacrest’s departure from the Idol franchise at the America’s Got Talent live show red carpet. To this, he told Us and other reporters: “I have no idea. I haven’t seen the show in so many years, I honestly couldn’t tell you.”
With reporting by Taylor Ferber