Fox's recently minted competition series had a major shakeup last week, with judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paul Abdul — along with host Steve Jones — getting the heave-ho. And while the rumor mill swirled with scuttlebutt about Cowell offering "Single Ladies" singer Knowles an astronomical sum to come aboard, the famously cantankerous Brit says it's not happening.
"I have no idea where this rumor came from," Cowell said in an interview with "Extra." "I read it online that I offered her $100 million a year. It's complete nonsense."
Cowell also revealed that executives at Fox began talking to him about a shakeup "[a]t the beginning of the year– and we were told it had to happen straight away."
He also took responsibility for the perception that "X Factor" has been a lukewarm success, admitting that his declaration that the show would be bigger than his last gig, "American Idol," set the bar too high.
"It's only because I opened my big mouth and said we were going to get 20 million [viewers]," Cowell said. "If I hadn't said that, everybody would be saying the show was a huge success."