It's hard to imagine "American Idol" without Simon Cowell. He's been there from the beginning as a judge and helped mastermind the show's massive success, but avid viewers have to face the facts: After the season-nine finale in May, [article id="1629445"]Cowell will be jumping ship[/article] for his other reality competition, [article id="1629466"]"The X Factor."[/article]
[article id="1629468"]New judge Ellen DeGeneres[/article] is calling the news "very, very sad," and [article id="1629473"]"Idol" experts[/article] are saying Cowell's exit could help the show. But what are fans saying? We hit the MTV News comments to see how viewers are taking the news.
Many are ready to jump ship right along with Cowell. "Bye-bye, 'American Idol' — hello, 'X Factor'!!!!!" GinaNYC wrote. "Where Simon goes, we go. Full stop."
"What! Without Simon, there is no 'American Idol,' " TH LOVER commented. WebSWAG added: "It's going to be boring if he's not there!"
Others are hoping their favorite show can weather the storm without its original captain. "Simon was my favorite judge of all because he was the most honest," rockchick wrote. "I am really upset that he's leaving. I always looked forward to his comments, which was what made the show great. I hope things don't get worse for the show after he leaves."
Over on our Newsroom blog, we posed the question many fans are asking: Who should replace Cowell? Readers chimed in with their own suggestions, including one Fox conspiracy theory. "Perhaps it's not mere coincidence that Fox announced that Sarah Palin would be joining Fox News as a contributor on the same day that they announced Simon Cowell is leaving 'Idol,' " Derek suggested. "You think they offered Palin a package deal here?"
Another commenter, Saji, went the Fox News route as well: "If you want a scary dynamic where insults and arguments will ensue, may I suggest Bill O'Reilly?"
Namanh apparently wants "Idol" to take after the 2009 Video Music Awards: "I think Kanye would make an awesome replacement, because it would be drama all the time."
"Who says they need a 4th judge?" B offered. "What's wrong with Randy, Kara and Ellen helming the show?"
The lone commenter excited about the judging panel doesn't seem to be a big fan of Cowell's British invasion. "About time!" AAAAANDRE wrote. "Why is a British guy picking the AMERICAN Idol?"
What do you think of Cowell's exit? Will "Idol" recover next season? Make your voice heard in the comments section below or upload a video response to Your.MTV.com!
Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' [article id="1486475"]"American Idol" page[/article], where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.