If you haven't been following the British tabloids, you may not have known that reality TV's original bad boy has undergone a serious transformation over the last nine months.
In a just-released publicity photo for the upcoming season of America's Got Talent, Cowell looks to be half the size he used to be:
If like us, your first reaction to seeing this image was this must be some extreme photoshopping — like the kind that adds an extra limb — turns out it's just the latest in a series of images of the incredible shrinking Cowell, who'd already lost a good amount of weight when we last saw him in February on America's Got Talent: The Champions.
While Cowell's extreme weight loss has been alternately attributed to gastric bypass surgery (which he flatly denies) and/or a newly adopted vegan diet, in a recent interview with ITV's Good Morning Britain he explained that he's actually been on a pescatarian diet, saying he feels better both mentally and physically after losing 3 stone (that's 42 pounds) in six months.
In an earlier interview, Cowell explained that he's cut out "everything, basically" from his diet, including (most painfully for him) pizza.
We'll leave it to others to speculate on how else Cowell may have changed his physical appearance, but one thing's for sure: the Cowell headed to our TV screens this summer looks a heck of a lot different from the one we once knew.
America's Got Talent returns for its 15th Season Tuesday May 26th on NBC.
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Jed Rosenzweig is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Primetimer. Follow him on Twitter @jedrosenzweig.