Simon Cowell: “we never show” people “who are going to sing badly on purpose”

Simon Cowell’s interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes aired last night, and besides his newsmaking comments that he sells more records than Bruce Springsteen, his interview offered additional insight.

First, watching Simon, it’s hard not to appreciate his genius and success–and his sense of humor about himself and the show. He seems grounded despite being filthy rich.

However, he’s also quite the fibber. He told Anderson, “We get a lot of people in the auditions who are going to sing badly on purpose, and we never show them. The people we show are the people who genuinely believe they’re going to win. And that’s what’s fascinating. … Every single one. Every single one.”

Would that include comedian Chris Wylde, who appeared on the show two seasons ago? Never mind that almost anyone who’s watched an audition episode would think Simon is being disingenuous. Certainly, many of them are delusional. But Simon, people dressed in wacky costumes do not “believe they’re going to win,” you crazy bastard.

The segment included footage of Simon flying to Las Vegas on a private jet with Ryan, Simon, and Randy, who are all good friends. Ryan says, “We do get along. … The great thing about our dynamic, our relationship, is that we’re pretty comfortable with each other, so we can say and do anything to one another and not have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings.”

Simon also raced high-speed go-carts at speeds of 175 mph with Anderson. Afterwards, Anderson dragged 60 Minutes into daytime talk show territory and had Simon face a panel of judges: Kurt Busch, Michael Waltrip (who said Simon looked like “a drunk going to get more liquor”) and Mario Andrietti (who said Simon was “bloody awful”). Of course, they were soon all shaking hands; Simon Cowell can, it seems, take what he gives out.

Cowell Worth More Than Springsteen? [60 Minutes]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.