updated 04/25/2011 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/25/2011 AT 9:00 AM ET
They sparred a lot on Idol, but Cowell, 51, is clearly fond of Abdul, 48 – so much so that he is reportedly recruiting her to join him on the judging panel of his new Fox talent search, The X Factor.
“I missed her the second she left [Idol],” Cowell tells Deadline.com. “Always loved working with her, even though she can be a pain.”