It”s tough work relentlessly carving out careers for pop wannabes on both sides of the Atlantic.
So Simon Cowell can be forgiven for living it up in Barbados over Christmas.
This year has seen the talent show tzar take his X-Factor brand stateside amid lashings of media attention.
And now that the UK and US versions have wound down after producing respective winners Little Mix and Melanie Amaro, the boss is taking a breather.
Simon was in his element as he posed with a pair of bikini-clad autograph hunters.
After their close up, the mogul zipped through the crystal Caribbean waters on a jet-ski.
One lady who wasn”t in the holiday snaps, though, is Simon”s make-up artist fiancé, Mezhgan Hussainy.
She stayed behind in London while his ex-girlfriend, Sinitta, joined him on the luxury break, as she did last year.
His choice of companion will no doubt fuel speculation over the state of his relationship with Mezhgan.
Eyebrows were raised in September when he was asked by US radio personality Howard Stern if the wedding was still to take place, to which Simon replied “I”m not sure”.
But his bride to be recently insisted that things are still very much on.
“I don”t know where these stories are coming from” she said.
“We are still in love and still planning on getting married. I am still living here as you can see”.
After his Barbados break, Simon will be returning to British soil. He”s set to start work on the 2012 instalment of Britain”s Got Talent.
It was recently announced that the show”s creator will be returning as a full-time judge to replace the outgoing David Hasselhoff.