DOS: Simon Cowell: Very Big Changes Ahead On ‘American Idol’, So Long Top 24?

With auditions for season eight of “American Idol” already underway you can expect a major overhaul for the new season, according to everyone’s favorite snarky judge, Simon Cowell. In a conference call from London with reporters this afternoon, Cowell said he and “Idol” producers have already begun meetings in the UK with the production team and Fox executives to discuss what he would like to see happen.

With the exit of executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe recently announced, Simon thinks the show will get a much-needed face-lift.

“You must never depend on one person. I don’t think we would have had the success initially without Nigel but we are onto our eighth season. It feels like it’s going to be a different show this year because of it and we will see whether that’s an advantage or a negative.”

Simon, who helped create the show, is prepared to step into a larger role behind the scenes,

“With Nigel there it became too much of a crowd and he is a very good producer but I think now he has stepped down I probably will get more involved. I already have to be honest with you.”

He is undecided whether or not he will take on an executive producer credit for himself,

“I don’t like giving myself a title really. I feel uncomfortable if I’m on the show. Maybe I will.”

Though the ratings held up fairly well considering the show was in its seventh season this year, Simon admitted he got bored halfway through the show and that was the impetus for the changes ahead,

“I started to get bored because of the middle sections of the show because we had 24 people. By the time we hit say, show five of the live show I felt I had known them for years. The other problem was that they were so media savvy, these contestants, that they never showed us, or you, their true personality. In parts they were like robots. I didn’t know much more about them at the end then I did at the beginning. I think it could be just more interesting and controversial than we did last year and that will change.”

Though he wouldn’t give any specific details Simon did hint as to what will see change,

“I’d like to see the middle stages of the show change because I think we can make them better. I think we can make the end part of the show much more exciting than we have done before and we have got some ideas which are definitely going to give the show a little bit more jeopardy than we have had in the past. You are definitely, definitely going to see a change to the show and I think it will be an improvement. I feel confident.”

Right now Simon is concentrating on his role as Executive Producer of “America’s Got Talent”, which returns with live shows next week. He believes the Olympics forced hiatus actually may have helped the show,

“My view is I think it may be a slight advantage. I’ve seen the ratings for the Olympics which are through the roof and we have had a lot of trailers for our show within it. So there is a chance that we might be able to encourage an audience that hadn’t seen the show to watch the live finals when they start next week.”

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