Simon Cowell Still Won’t Apologize for Being Such a Jerk on ‘American Idol’

The V-neck regrets nothing.

Simon Cowell made a surprise return to the American Idol stage for the show’s series finale despite a little white lie that he told to E! Online, suggesting that he would be out of the country during the taping.

He shocked season 1 judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul when he walked onstage on Thursday night (Apr. 7) to offer an indirect apology for his blunt behavior.

“I just thought this would be a good [opportunity] on behalf of myself, Randy, Ryan – for Paula to apologize, over the years, for being so mean to the contestants,” Cowell joked. “When we trying to be nurturing, helpful, you were really horrible and I think now is the time to apologize to America.”

While Abdul brushed the jest aside, Cowell continued to thank the fans for their viewership and for everyone involved in the show’s production.

“Thank you to the contestants, to FOX for actually putting us on air, to you guys for actually being my best friends now, and I am going to miss you,” Cowell said to Abdul and Jackson.

Spoilers ahead…

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CREDIT: Getty Images

After Trent Harmon was announced the competition’s winner over La’Porsha Renae and the show took its final bow, Kelly Clarkson’s 2-year-old daughter said her farewell to the show on Twitter.

“Congrats @TrentWHarmon :),” wrote Clarkson in the caption of the video below. “@laporsharenae can’t wait 4 ur album too! River wanted 2 say bye.”

The artist, who is expecting her second child in the very near future, paid homage to the show during the finale through a pre-recorded medley of her greatest hits that ended with “A Moment Like This” — the song she won upon being crowned the first winner of Idol.

Launch the gallery at the top of the page to view photos from the finale and watch William Hung’s grand return in the video, here.