Simon Cowell is returning to the U.S. to judge America’s Got Talent, the summer NBC show he executive produces. NBC’s confirmation of the long- called him “a music executive, TV producer and star of some of the highest-rated television shows in the world” whose “discerning eye for talent and candid remarks have transformed popular culture and made him a household name across the globe, influencing TV and music for more than a decade.”
I am so hostile to this idea I can barely calm down enough to explain why I am so hostile to this idea. But here are the reasons that come to mind immediately:
- Simon phoned in his last few years of American Idol, and was admitted he was “bored” and just doing it because of his deal with Fox. That’s exactly how it appeared on television: He came off as someone who didn’t give a shit and was just cashing his massive paycheck.
- He masturbated all over Fox with that indulgent ego-trip X Factor nonsense for three years, which included:
- Firing everyone but himself and his sparring partner LA Reid after a crap first season.
- Throwing cash at Britney Spears and then firing her after one season.
- Differentiating it from Idol by being an overproduced version of Idol, and failing to recognize what worked, like the documentary-style contestant profiles.
- This is such a lazy idea. Casting Howard Stern—a fan of the show and an exceptional talent himself—was inspired. So was NBC’s replacement for Donald Trump. This is the opposite.
- Simon Cowell wants to add more singers to America’s Got Talent. Okay, yes, he told USA TODAY that he “would love to be able to bring in better singers and groups,” and considering all the mediocre singers the show has paraded across its stage over the years, improvement would be welcome. But singers are the worst part of the show, which is different precisely because it isn’t a singing competition.
American Idol is going off the air in part because networks drowned the audience in singing competitions with acerbic British judges. And now an acerbic British judge who spent years earning tens of millions of dollars by being bored wants to turn a very fun summer series into more of a singing competition?