... Simon Cowell, TV Personality
Do we really need a full paragraph explaining who Simon Cowell is?
Unless you live under a rock, only listen to hard rock or only watch 30 Rock, you know that Simon Cowell is the British judge on American Idol that everyone loves to hate. Or is it that they hate that they love him?
Either way, Simon recently took some time to answer questions about the next season of American Idol which debuts tomorrow night at 8pm EST on FOX.
Q: Hi Simon, how are you?
Simon Cowell: I'm very well thank you.
Q: I know we'll start again this year with lots of bad performances in the early episodes and it must be agonizing for you guys to sit through. Is it all worth it at the end when the winner gets named and it's someone very deserving?
SC: The answer is yes it is worth while. Is it fun doing it? No. It is becoming increasingly like torture. But you have to give most of the people who come in at least 3 or 4 minutes. But it has got harder over the years. What's amazing, even after 7 seasons, and we had some shockingly bad people this year, is how much they still believe that they're right and I'm wrong. They got more argumentative with me this year and all I'm trying to do is help them. I think you've got to have that mix within in the show. If it was completely sanitized, and everybody came in was competent that it would be the most boring show on TV. It's fun for me to watch. It is torture for me to do it.
Q: People enjoy seeing the celebrity mentors, but some say last season focused too much on the mentors and not the contestants. This season, how will they balance it out?
SC: We didn't let the audience at home know enough about where the contestants live or their likes and dislikes because everything was about their chat with the mentors like Diana Ross or J-Lo or whoever it was. I think this year there will be more focus on the contestants and less focus on who is mentoring them that week. It's a balance and I think it's the right decision.
Q: What other changes do you think we'll see this year?
SC: We are completely, utterly reliant on who walks in the door, in terms of the quality of the contestants. Most of our focus this year was to make sure that we got a better top 12 and a more interesting top 12 that we got last year and I'm pretty certain that we've got that this year so that's the most important thing.
Cosmetic changes - there will be a new set, which will be good. They tried a couple of bits and pieces in the Hollywood rounds of having people play instruments. Which wasn't particularly a good thing or a bad thing, I don't think it made too much of a difference because we were lucky enough that the contestants were better and that's the most important thing.
Q: Did they find a spot for you on Randy Jackson's new album?
SC: You probably know more about it than I do. I think he made a record with Paula which should be interesting. I haven't been asked to be on it, and if I was asked I definitely wouldn't go on it. But good luck to him.
Many thanks go out to Simon Cowell for taking the time to share his TwoCents with us. Be sure to catch this season's premiere of American Idol on FOX tomorrow night (Jan 15th) at 8PM EST.