Simon Cowell Reveals 'Sexual Tension' With Paula Abdul During 'American Idol' in Barbara Walters' ABC Special (Video)

Upfronts: Fox | New York, May 16
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"The X Factor's" Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell appeared at Fox's upfront presentation at Wollman Rink in New York. Cowell was described by Fox Networks chairman Peter Rice as "the absolute star of the genre at the pinnacle of his game."


Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul have spent many years serving together as judges on televised singing competitions, first on Fox'sAmerican Idol and now on the network's The X Factor.

Viewers have seen somewhat of a playful love-hate relationship between the two. And in an interview with Barbara Walters for her annual 10 Most Fascinating People special, which aired Wednesday night on ABC, Cowell revealed that there was some "sexual tension" between the two during their Idol days, saying they nearly had sex.

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"I think it was the sexual tension on her part," he said.

Asked whether Abdul wanted a relationship with Cowell, he replied: "A million percent."

"I considered it, but then I thought, 'I don't think the after would be as good as the before,'" he said. "I'd let her stay for a few hours, but then it would have to be goodnight," he joked.

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But the two weren't always on good terms. During the first two years of Idol, viewers saw the two frequently engage in arguments -- and Cowell says that wasn't just for the show.

"I mean, the truth was, on the first two seasons, we couldn't travel on the same plane together. We really disliked each other that much," he said, blaming her "sexual tension" for the animosity between the two.

Cowell and Abdul have poked fun at the rumors they were dating in the past, including in an Idol skit where the two were seen on a date and later sharing a kiss.

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The two now seem to have nothing but a solid friendship: He was responsible for recruiting her to serve a judge onX Factor, which debuted this fall. Cowell, meanwhile, is reportedly engaged to Mezhgan Hussainy.

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