Entertainment behind the scenes
“Idol” Top 11: No more Mr Nice guy for Cowell
“American Idol” judge Simon Cowell pulled no punches on Tuesday night’s episode, berating most of the singing competition’s remaining 11 contestants for their poor song choices, lack of conviction, and predictable performances.
“This is a very weird show tonight,” Cowell quipped, saying it might have been a bad idea to ask the contestants to perform Beatles songs two weeks in a row. “This is all getting a bit strange.”
Cowell, who is known for being tough on the aspiring superstars coveting the title of “American Idol,” spared almost no one from his brutal barbs.
Carly Smithson, the Irish diva who Cowell compared to pop sensation and “Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson last week, was “indulgent” and not very smart for singing “Blackbird,” he said.
Meanwhile, perennial Cowell favorite Brooke White performed “Here Comes the Sun” but he deemed that ”terrible” and ”wet,” even taking aim at White’s “horrible dancing.”
Cowell then lambasted Chikezie for playing the harmonica during his performance of “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” calling it “literally atrocious” and “gimmicky.”
It didn’t end there. Amanda Overmyer’s “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and Michael Johns’ “A Day in the Life” were both “a mess,” while Ramiele Malubay’s “Should Have Known Better” was “amateurish,” Cowell said.
He reserved his harshest words, however, for Kristy Lee Cook, the blonde tomboy who grew up in a log cabin and who has narrowly escaped elimination for two weeks running.
“It’s like musical wallpaper. You notice it, but you can’t remember it,” Cowell said.
For much of the night, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul were on the same page as Cowell, though they defended both Smithson and rocker David Cook, whose performance of “Day Tripper” Cowell said was not as good as Cook thought it was.
The few kudos Cowell doled out went to David Archuleta and Syesha Mercado. Archuleta, a fan favorite, rebounded from forgetting the lyrics during last week’s performance of “We Can Work It Out.” Cowell on Tuesday called 17-year-old Archuleta’s rendition of “The Long and Winding Road” “a master class.”
Mercado, meanwhile, impressed the judges with her version of “Yesterday” — a big turnaround for the Floridian who narrowly escaped being voted off last week.
“It wasn’t incredible, but you chose the best song,” Cowell said.
Coming from him, that means a lot.