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Simon Cowell: Paula shouldn't apologize for 'American Idol' confusion


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/05/2008 

Simon Cowell is never one to offer an apology, and he apparently thinks Paula Abdul doesn't need to make one either.

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During last Tuesday night's American Idol performance episode, Abdul claimed she got confused and critiqued two Jason Castro performances after the seventh-season finalist had only performed once -- basing her on-air comments on the contestant's rehearsal of a song that he had yet to perform live.

"I don't think [an apology] is necessary, to be honest with you.  I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. It was a live show. She made a mistake," Cowell told reporters while promoting America's Got Talent at NBC's summer season press day on Friday, Entertainment Weekly reported.

"[Castro's] a grown-up. Look, it's a high class problem. He's singing in front of 25 million people. They're all lucky to be on the show. You've got to put it in perspective. The year it becomes normal is the year I'll probably leave. I genuinely like it when it's a bit loopy."

Cowell apparently doesn't think Castro is much longer for the competition anyway and added the dreadlocked teenager wouldn't have even made it as far as he has if it weren't for his looks.

"If he looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, he still wouldn't be in the competition, would he?" Cowell told reporters, Entertainment Tonight reported.

Cowell is sticking to his previous prediction that Idol's seventh-season will be a battle between David Archuleta and David Cook, adding it could come down to the wire.

"It will be David versus David and you're going to have a real scrap," said Cowell, Entertainment Tonight reported.  "The winner will really depend on what song they sing on the night."

Cowell and fellow Idol judge Randy Jackson have both stated they think Archuleta is the "one to beat," however Abdul recently said she feels she's "already looking at the American Idol" when watching Cook perform.  According to Cowell, both Archuleta and Cook have talent -- however the former also has a dedicated fan base.

"David Cook has got the better voice and David Archuleta has got the teen and grandma appeal," said Cowell, Entertainment Tonight reported.

As for the only remaining female seventh-season finalist -- Syesha Mercado -- Cowell thinks she's a strong singer but has yet to deliver that single performance that would define her Idol journey.

"If I was a betting man, I wouldn't put my money on her. She is a good singer. She is solid. She will be very happy with where she got," he told reporters, Entertainment Tonight reported.  "For me, I just haven't had that incredible moment from her yet."

Regardless of who makes it to Idol's seventh-season finale, the Top 2 finalists will each have the opportunity to perform the tune chosen as the winner of this year's songwriting contest -- which Cowell wanted to make clear he isn't involved with.

"I have nothing to do with it," he told reporters, according to EW.  "I'd like to bring in the best songwriters in the world."

While Cowell joked that "you can guarantee either the word 'proud' or 'moment' will be in the song," he also hinted that the format for this year's songwriting contest could allow either of the Top 2 finalists to put their own spin on the winning track.

"I won't give it away, but there's a slight change to last year which is going to be an improvement," he told reporters, according to EW.

In addition, Cowell addressed Idol's overall 10% seventh-season ratings decline, with some of its recent broadcasts having recorded five-year lows for the Fox mega-hit.

"I think the themes are too old fashioned at the moment," he told reporters, OK! Weekly reported.  "I think you've got to make the themes more current and I think we haven't got the right personalities at the moment. [The contestants are] not letting go enough. They're very media savvy, saying the right things, not arguing with me. It's too safe at the moment."

As an example of what he meant by "very. very media savvy," Cowell pointed to the 17-year-old Archuleta.

"They've watched the show over previous years. David Archuleta was performing in front of Kelly Clarkson six years ago -- it's on tape!" said Cowell, according to OK!.  "It's like he's gone to the University of American Idol. Safe songs, safe message. I like people who just go a bit crazy sometimes. I'm dying for someone to scream at me one week and just say, 'I hate your guts' because I know they're thinking it."

Cowell also said he'd be in favor of some of the slight tweaks Fox and Idol producers have been hinting at for the show's eighth edition next year.

"You have to revamp every show you make every year," he told reporters, OK! reported. "I've got a few ideas."


(Photo credit Fox)


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