Simon Cowell seems to be back pedaling on recent 'X Factor' casting talk. The notoriously cantankerous judge has spoken out, claiming his newest show doesn't need an A-list cast. Oh really?
"When we first launched 'Idol' in the U.K. years ago, we didn't think for one second there had to be an A-list star on the panel," Cowell told 'Extra' (quotes via Digital Spy). "Everyone on the panel was really unknown. Firstly, they are incredibly expensive -- that is millions you lose on something else." We guess that $100 million for Beyonce really was too much, eh? Indeed: "I read that online that I offered [Beyoncé] $100 million a year," Cowell scoffed. "The budget for the show is $100 million. That would never, ever happen. It's absolute nonsense… Even if you had that kind of money. I wouldn't spend $100 million on one person."


Other obstacles? Time, which explains Mariah Carey's absence. "I would love [Mariah]. But you can't expect someone who's just had two kids to make the kind of commitment you would need on this show." He continued, "Secondly, they have to make the time commitment and on my show, they have to work five days a week."

The other 'X Factor' a panelist needs? Well, they need to have the 'X Factor' in order to judge it. "Thirdly, they have to be interesting … I'm not playing this game where we have to compete on the level of A-lister stars … You can lose focus on what the show is all about, and at the end of the day the most important thing is the contestants."

Fair enough -- but someone may want to let Avril Lavigne know.