That didn't happen, and on Sunday, "Idol" judge Randy Jackson said he wished Cowell well — while slipping in his opinion that "X Factor" and other singing shows are copying "Idol," and that "X Factor" doesn't seem to have lived up to Cowell's expectations.
Also read: Simon Cowell: 'X Factor' Out to Beat Top-Rated 'Idol'
"Simon and Paula are dear friends of ours," he told TheWrap. "They started this whole 'Idol' tradition with us. I think that 'Idol''s still the best TV show that's come on anywhere. We're the original, we kind of invented this whole game that everybody's now copying, and I say that they're copying it, right?"
He added: "So, I mean, listen, I mean, Simon's done well with his show, probably not the expectations that he wanted, but you know, we wish him well and you know we've gone on with this and done well."
Also read: How NBC Found Its 'Voice'
Jackson is the sole remaining original "Idol" judge after Cowell and Paula Abdul departed and joined fellow Fox show "X Factor." He and fellow judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez talked about the show Sunday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
The panelists had no well wishes for NBC's singing competition "The Voice." Asked about former "Idol" champ Kelly Clarkson joining "The Voice" as a mentor, Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell said it was a compliment to "Idol."
He quipped, "We're not hiring a lot of people from 'The Voice' to be on our show."
In another jab, Jackson accused "The Voice" of ripping off its spinning judges' chairs from "Star Trek."
"Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, who also hosts E! News for NBCUniversal, declined to comment on reports that he has talked to NBC about the "Today" show. His contract with "Idol" is up after this season, and he seemed eager to return.
"I can't imagine life without 'American Idol,'" he said.
Asked whether he might one day join "The Voice" as part of his deal with NBC, he responded, "Good question," adding, "At this point honestly I only see myself as hosting 'American Idol.'"
Darnell said his expectation was that Seacrest would "be with the show for as long as we can get him to be on this television show. Hope that's forever."
In one of the panel's funnier moments, Lopez responded with surprise — or feigned surprise — when told that Telemundo is making a telenovela version of her movie, "Made in Manhattan," that will air opposite "Idol" on Wednesday and Thursdays.
"I've gotta call my lawyer," she said.
In another solid quip, Tyler joked about borrowing Lopez' clothes.
"I've always wanted to get in her pants and you know, then she lets me — to wear them," he said.
Tyler also said that his "Idol" appearances have been good news for his band, Aerosmith, telling reporters that the group's sales are up 260 percent.
As for Cowell's goal for the season: "X Factor" was the strongest reality show of the fall season, but averaged less than half of the ratings for "Idol."