Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell, photographed during the “American Idol” grand finale in Hollywood, California, on April 7, 2016, says he was surprised to learn that Liam Payne (not photographed) was not signing with his label after leaving One Direction. Reuters

Simon Cowell, known for his critiques on "America's Got Talent" and "X Factor," was initially introduced to audiences on the long-running singing competition show "American Idol." Eight years later, he announced that he would be vacating his judge position and leaving the show, which left fans understandably wondering what could have inspired such an exit.

In 2010, Cowell, 59, cited his role on "The X Factor" as the final push that prompted him to leave "AI," but in the years since, it seems as though the TV personality and music industry powerhouse has become more open regarding his true motivation behind his departure.

A revisited by Good Housekeeping this week, Cowell told Hollywood Life in March that the age restrictions on the show had a hand in his ultimate decision.

"How can you say, 'You can't be a star [because of your age]?'" he mused.

"And I found 'Idol' obnoxious to be honest with you," Cowell added. "And why isn't a 35-year-old as great as an 18-year-old? It just got to the point where this is not real, which is why I moved on."

During Cowell's time on the show as a judge, the program required that contestants be between the ages of 16 and 24 years old. However, after Season 3, the limit was increased to 28, which is where it presently stands.

Aside from the age limitations, he did make it clear that he enjoyed his time on the singing competition. "We speak, hang out, and talk," the judge said when asked about former "Idol" contestants, adding, "I had the good years!"