Simon Cowell: “we will continue in the way we’ve always done”

A former auditioner’s suicide won’t change how Simon Cowell criticizes American Idol contestants, he said Wednesday, when he also talked about his relationship with Paula Abdul and whether or not he’ll remain on the show after its ninth season.

“I have thought long and hard about this. I think we will continue in the way we’ve always done it. In the main, we’ve tried to have a sense of humor over the whole process. You assume everyone who enters American Idol kind of knows the score. If you’re not great, you’re going to get criticism,” he told reporters, according to USA TODAY.

Simon doesn’t quite seem to get the nature of the auditioning woman’s obsession with his fellow judge, even though he tries to be sympathetic. “We’re talking about tragedy here. I really don’t like referring to this person as a stalker. So let’s refer to her as a fan,” he said–even though Paula Abdul has been actively complaining that the producers were insensitive as she detailed Paula Goodspeed’s psychotic, stalkerish behavior that required Paula Abdul to get restraining orders.

Still, Simon added, “we didn’t know how troubled this person was, and if I could go back in time and know what she was going through, we could have spent time trying to help her. But we genuinely didn’t know,” he said, according to the New York Daily News.

Simon also apologized to Paula, who recently accused him of defamation. “But that’s part of the relationship that I’ve had with Paula. It was never done with any maliciousness. She’s never had an issue with me about it. If I thought I’d gone too far, I’d apologize. I thought she took most of this with a sense of humor. If she said, ‘Don’t ever do that again,’ I wouldn’t,” he said.

Meanwhile, Simon also discussed this year’s group, which of course is better than last season’s: “We’ve got an interesting bunch. Last year it became the battle of the blonds and you couldn’t tell one from the other. This year they stand out and are different and they are standing up for themselves a bit more. I’m actually optimistic,” he said, although really, he says shit like that every year.

In addition, he has previously said according to the Los Angeles Times, “I’ll make the decision next year with what I do as an onscreen judge. I’ve got two other shows and it is a big schedule now and it’s hard.”

Cowell: ‘Idol’ auditions will continue as is, despite apparent suicide [USA TODAY]
Cowell says ‘Idol’ will deliver first-class males [New York Daily News]
Simon Cowell looks ahead to Season 8 [Los Angeles Times]

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.