Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cowell screws up his face; screws up

If there's one hard and fast rule of mainstream TV popularity in the US, it's that you don't intrude on that nation's moments of grief. So it'll be interesting to see if Simon Cowell can extricate himself from the mess he's gotten into after he was caught apparently rolling his eyes while an American Idol contestant made a speech about his friends at Virginia Tech.

Cowell's explanation? He wasn't rolling his eyes at that at all:

"You get this crazy story that appears that I rolled my eyes disrespectfully at Chris because he made the comment... The truth was I had switched off at that point and I was talking to Paula.

I did wanna clear this one up because this is a very sensitive subject. The irony was is that we did want to set the right tone on the show."

So, rather than showing disrespect by making a face, you simply weren't listening at all? That'll play well, Simon. Especially if you're suggesting you set up the memorial speech in the first place and then had a little chinwag with Paula over the top of it.

Really, this would be a storm in an espresso cup were it not for the red raw scar of this week's shootings; it suggests why a light entertainment man like Cowell should steer clear of trying to engage with the real world altogether. It also shows that his connection with what the mainstream, Fox-watching segment of the American public are thinking is nowhere near as closely attuned as he likes to claim.


James said...

I'm not sure what to make of this story (although I did despair when Sunrise Radio chose to make it their joint top item this morning).

On the one hand, Cowell's reaction seems rather lame ("It wasn't aimed at him, I was talking to Paula"). I've seen the video of the incident and, if he was talking to her, she certainly doesn't seem to be paying much attention, staring straight ahead and apparently choosing to listen to the chap onstage.

On the other, from what I've heard of the show, the contestant had plenty of opportunities to make his heartfelt speech before his performance. Instead though, he chose to do so after his song, seemingly in response to some criticism from Cowell. Surely he wouldn't use the speech as an attempt to deflect a bad review?

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

But James, that would be cynical, and American Idol is in no way cynical. As we all know.

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