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American Idol Apologizes To Louisville Contestant Mark Mudd

January 30, 2009 11:00 AM by Paulene Hinds


American Idol has apologized to a Louisville auditioner for suggesting that he had threatened the show’s judges after he wasn’t put through to Hollywood. The show announced in a statement released on its americanidol.com website, “We apologize to any viewers who were offended by the misinterpretation of the contestant’s comment to “be careful” upon completion of his audition in Louisville, Kentucky. Our visits to audition cities are relatively brief and sometimes regional greetings and salutations are lost in translation. We had not heard that phrase from any other contestants during the day, so it took everyone by surprise. We now know better and look forward to visiting Louisville again someday.

The apology was made after American Idolaired the Lousiville auditions last Wednesday and showed 25-year-old Mark Mudd telling the judges to “be careful” as he said goodbye after being rejected for his performance of,White Lightning, a George Jones song.

Below is the exchange of words between Mark Mudd and the American Idol judges after Mark Mudd’s audition.

“All right. Take care and be careful,” Mark Mudd said as he began to walk out of the audition room.

“Be careful?” Paula Abdul replied, appearing shocked.

“Be careful in whatever you do,” Mark Mudd reiterated.

“What?” Paula Abdul said.

“I’m just saying, be careful in whatever you do,” Mark Mudd repeated.

“That was a threat,” Simon Cowellhalf whisperedto the other judges.

“Was that a threat? That was a threat!” Paula Abdul said angrily to Mark Mudd.

“No, I’m just saying, just be careful, you know, in whatever you do,” Mark Mudd repeated yet again.

“Well, you don’t say that to people. You don’t say that to people, ‘be careful.’ That’s not a normal thing to say to people,” Paula Abdul said.

“I was just saying,” Mark Muddrepeated and left the room.

The American Idol judges, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi were not accustomed to the term “be careful” which is a regional parting expression in the south.

Many viewers that were aware of the Paula Goodspeed incident that took place last November, when the fanatical fan killed herself outside of Paula Abdul’s home may have thought that Paula Abdul was justified to feel threatened, but the incident with Mark Mudd actually took place before the events involving Paula Goodspeed, and was just due to linguistic ignorance.

Perhaps the American Idoljudges will carry an American phrase book to their audition stops next year to avoid such an uncomfortable exchange from happening again.

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Photos Courtesy: FOX

Topics: American Idol, FOX Reality TV Shows |

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