American Idol judge Simon Cowell has responded to criticism about his controversial comments about some of the new season's auctioning contestants, claiming that his remarks were intended to be off the record comments made after he believed the show's cameras were no longer rolling.

According to Cowell, he wanted to "hide under the covers" once he discovered the remarks had made it into Fox's American Idol 5 open audition broadcasts. But Cowell did not apologize for the comments, instead only explaining that they were private comments that were not intended for public broadcast.

"The problem is that they left the cameras rolling this year," the sharp tongued judge told Los Angeles' Good Day LA morning show during a recent television interview. "So, you know when you meet somebody in real life and they leave the room, and you say something -- we all do it -- that's what's getting me into trouble."

"Can you imagine if they left the cameras rolling on your show," Cowell remarked to Good Day LA co-host Dorothy Lucey.

Cowell's audition comments have generated criticism from both fat and gay rights activists, with the National Association To Advance Fat Acceptance's Sandy Schaffer calling him "childish" and "stupid" after Cowell remarked that the show wouldn't have been able to "afford the food bill" for one rejected singer. Cowell's remark followed earlier auction comments in which he questioned the masculinity of another androgynous-appearing applicant.

Fellow American Idol judge Paula Abdul has previously declined to defend Cowell's comments. "He's an ass. He's a pill," said Abdul told Access Hollywood. "He says the dumbest things sometimes."