Cowell hasn't been shy in saying his successor needs to have music experience, but he says his statements are in no way a knock against new judge Ellen DeGeneres. "I'll tell you why I think Ellen was a good choice: She actually is very responsible for people she has performing on her own show. I know that for a fact because I've dealt with her as a record label," he says. "And she loves music and she's been an artist, so no, it wasn't meant to dis her credential. It was specifically talking about my replacement because my role on the show was somebody who has run a successful record label."
Simon also addresses rumors of tension between him and Ellen. "I wouldn't say that we didn't get on well. I don't know Ellen that well," he says. "It was a difficult position for her because she started work on the Hollywood Week, which is quite a difficult show to do."
"There was one story I read that I turned up an hour late or something and that she wanted to film. The truth was I think I turned up 15 or 20 minutes late because I did a press conference earlier in the day and they did start filming, but that wasn't a particular problem," he says. "But no, there was no fallout. I was trying to guide her through the week and that was about it, really."
Cowell on his last season