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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 5

Simon Cowell slams Katharine McPhee, 'American Idol' conspiracists

By Christopher Rocchio, 02/07/2008 

Katharine McPhee's self-titled debut album has sold roughly 366,000 copies since it was released last February, but Simon Cowell apparently didn't purchase a copy.

"Didn't care much about Katharine McPhee," the American Idol judge told Extra on Thursday's edition of the syndicated entertainment news program. "I didn't think she was a particularly credible recording artist. Katharine will end up on Broadway!"

While the recently married McPhee is cutting her acting chops after parting ways with Sony BMG's RCA Records last month -- she hasn't found her way onto Broadway just yet. 

But just because he doesn't care much for McPhee, that doesn't mean Cowell is any more of a fan of Taylor Hicks, the contestant that beat out McPhee and won American Idol's fifth season crown.

"There's always a place for someone like that on the show - until they win," Cowell told Extra.

Cowell also addressed the latest round of criticism surrounding Idol's long-standing eligiblity rules, which regardless of their prior experience, only require contestants to not currently have a recording or talent management in order to be able to compete on the show. 

He rejected American Idol critics' claims that the fact that the judges gave seventh-season Hollywood Round gold tickets to several contestants who previously had recording contracts was part of a conspiracy to ensure that, in light of last season's perceived talent drop and sixth-season winner Jordin Sparks' lukewarm sales, Idol's next winner ends up being a chart-topping success.

"Oh, give me a break!" Cowell told Extra. "Regardless of whether they've had recording contracts or not, they've all failed, which is why they're turning up for American Idol."

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