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Are American Idol Judges Really Meaner?

January 22, 2007 08:35 PM by Joe Reality

As article after article talks about how much meaner the American Idol
judges are this year, it makes us wonder if everyone has developed
amnesia about previous seasons.  Most of the uproar seems to involve
two contestants named Kenneth Briggs and Jonathan Jayne.  American Idol
judge Simon Cowell told one of them that he looked like a bush baby and
accused the other one of borrowing Randy Jackson’s trousers.

If you look back at all the things that Simon Cowell has said to contestants on American Idol, then these two comments aren’t even the closest to being the meanest.  In the past, Simon Cowell has made fun of contestants’ weights, questioned their sexual identities, and even criticized their suntans.  During the American Idol 5 auditions, Simon Cowell told a male contestant that he looked like the Incredible Hulk’s wife, which is probably a lot worse than looking like a monkey.  This is also the man who asked if they had a bigger stage after Mandisa auditioned

The real issue isn’t if the American Idol judges are meaner this year, because they are just as mean as they’ve ever been.  The real issue is if the American Idol producers are showing poor taste in putting through some contestants who might have some type of disability.  The New York Times revealed that Jonathan Jayne participated in the Special Olympics.

However, the American Idol judges were not overly cruel to Jonathan Jayne.  They did make fun of his pants and snicker during his performance, but in the end, they told him he was a nice guy that was just following the wrong career path.  Also, if Jonathan does have a disability, it doesn’t appear to be to the extent that he can’t handle the attention his audition has brought him.  Both Kenneth and Jonathan appear to being having a blast doing the talk show circuit and mingling with celebrities. 

In an interview with the Seattle Times, Jonathan Jayne said the negativity "doesn’t make me look bad. It does make Simon, Paula and Randy look bad."  Jayne also revealed that he’s hoping to land a job as a DJ or a talk show host.  His appearance on Idol seems to have put him a lot closer to that goal.  Jonathan Jayne is likely a lot smarter than a lot of people are giving him credit for. 

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