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To set the record straight, both Paula and Scherzy were fired. "I would've liked to have kept [Paula]. She was very gracious, and I said that to her. She understands it's business; it's never personal," Simon insisted. As for Nicole, "I don't think she's mad. I think she's disappointed." Previous reports suggested Nicole left the show on her own accord in order to focus on her music career, but Simon insists a big changes were necessary in order to meet the reality competition show's lofty goals.
"It's only because I opened my big mouth and said we were going to get 20 million [viewers]," Cowell explained in an interview with Extra. "If I hadn't said that, everybody would be saying the show was a huge success." So who does Simon think will bring in the viewership? Rumors have been swirling that Beyonce was offered the gig for $100 million! "Complete nonsense," he said of Queen B's future reign on the show.
What about all the buzz around Mariah Carey? Simon previously admitted to trying to bring in MiMi for Season 1. "I would love her," he admits, "But you can't expect someone who's just had two kids to make the kind of commitment you would need on this show," the executive producer admitted.
When prompted about other divas for the judge/mentor role, Cowell said that Madonna would be "great," but "expensive," and that Katy Perry would be "fun" and "feisty." All hypothetical, of course.