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American Idol: Simon Cowell Rethinks His Harsh Comments After Fan Death

December 18, 2008 01:00 PM by Paulene Hinds


You may not see American Idol judge, Simon Cowell acting like he did againin the above You Tube Audition Video of Paula Goodspeed from 2005. The apparent suicide of the former contestant and obsessed fan, has forced him to think “long and hard” about his blunt comments to hopeless singers on the show.

The death in November of Paula Goodspeed,a fan of fellow American Idol judge Paula Abdul who was ridiculed when she tried out in 2005, “hit us like an express train. It upset me a lot,” Simon Cowell said.

It is obvious though that Simon Cowell was not too deeply affected by the fan deathas he stated, “I have thought long and hard about this…I think we will continue in the way we have always done. We have tried to have a sense of humor. The show is not an inherently mean show. It is an American dream show where the whole purpose is to find somebody who through the process becomes a star.”

In reference to Paula Goodspeed’s suicide, Cowell said, “What happened was awful. My regret is that we didn’t know how troubled this person was. If I had gone back in time and known what she was going through, I wish we could have spent time trying to help her, but we genuinely didn’t know.”

Goodspeed was found dead in a car outside ofPaula Abdul’s Los Angeles home, apparently by drug overdose. Her death sparked heated debates on how harsh the judges are on bad singers in the early American Idol audition rounds and then even more cruel when they later broadcast their falilure on national TV.

Paula Abdul spoke to Barbara Walters last week and said that the American Idol producers had dismissed her fears about letting Goodspeed audition for the sake of making an entertaining show.

Simon Cowell however, defended the producers and said, “The producers have the utmost integrity as human beings.” He then referred to the two Idol Gives Back charity events in 2007 and 2008 which had raised $120 million for mostly children’s charities in the United States and Africa.

Cowell said that after seven seasons, the singers who audition knew they would be criticized if they were no good.

“When something like this has happened, it does make you take a step back,” he said. “I’ve always thought it important to show people at home that when bad singers come in and they are not very good, that it is time to give up that type of dream and take a normal job.”

Season 8 of American Idol will focus less on early auditions and bad singers and give more time to talented performers when the show returns on the Fox network January 13. The producers of American Idol said the change is not a reaction to Goodspeed’s death, but rather made to make the show more interesting, and help maintain slipping ratings.

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Photo Credit: wordpress.com

Topics: American Idol, FOX Reality TV Shows, Simon Cowell |

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