The Five: Simon Says

by Kim Voynar, posted Feb 23rd 2006 8:15PM

I was watching American Idol last night (okay, I admit it, it's my secret guilty pleasure). In between admiring a couple of the singers  - Ace, Taylor, and Chris (oh yeah, bald guys do it for me) and cringing over others (WHAT the heck was up with that performance by David Radford? He looked like an epileptic Elvis! And don't get me started on Bobby Bennett's gut-churning rendition of "Copa Cobana"! My eyes and ears haven't recovered from that one yet), I focused on my favorite part of American Idol - Simon. Yes, Simon can be a tad acerbic at times, he occasionally dabbles in sarcasm, but he's still my fave of the three judges, and here are five reasons why.

5.  Paula is just too damn nice. Sorry, but sometimes, the truth hurts. If you really suck, isn't it better to have someone tell you so, than to have some pansy-wansy nice girl sugarcoating how bad you really are? If you're writing a book or a screenplay, you don't ask people who LIKE you what they think of it. Paula too often act likes everybody's mom, overlooking minor details like pitchiness and performance and nauseatingly focusing on the positive - "I just really, really like you! Really!" Simon's like your rude drunk uncle - he's the one person in the family who will straightforwardly tell you if your butt really does look fat in those red velvet pants. And don't we all need that kind of candor every now and then?

4. Randy wants to be everybody's friend. Yo, what's up with that, dawg? Any parent can tell you - you can't be your kids' best friends, you know what I'm sayin'? The Idol judges have to be able to give the tough love, and whenever Randy has to do that, you can just see him cringe inside. Simon doesn't give a crap if anyone likes him or not; consequently, his opinion is the one they really value. Which brings us to...

3. Honesty. As Billy Joel sang, it's such a lonely word. Everybody hates Simon (or at least pretends to hate him) because he's the one judge who's honest and uncompromising in his opinions. Does he care that the audience boos him? Nope. Flinch when Seacrest gets snarky and encourages hapless saps like poor Kevin Covais to get mouthy? Heck, no. He puts it on the line, puts up with Paula's whining and even her smacking him around, and still says exactly what he thinks. And, guess what?

2. Simon is almost always right. I don't care how much the Idols' friends and relations roll their eyes or boo, how much the audience hisses at Simon for what he says - facts are facts, kids. If Simon says you're off pitch, dude, you're off pitch. If Simon says you sound like a second-rate karaoke performer, or someone who should be performing in a cruise ship lounge, guess what? You do. Simon catches the subtler nuances of performances that Randy and Paula miss when they're so busy trying to be all cool and hip and shakin' their booties and clapping along. The good news though, is that if Simon thinks you rocked the house, you can rest assured you did. Because whose opinion really matters?

1. Simon's opinion is the one that matters. That's right. Watch the contestants and the audience. Sure, they listen and hoot and holler when Randy and Paula heap on the praise. But Simon is the one whose opinion everyone's on the edge of their seats to hear, contestants especially. They may not like it when what Simon says hurts, but they darn sure know he's the one they can count on to tell it like it is, and he's the judge they all want most to please. Because when Simon says you're good, kid -- you can take that one to the bank.

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Jenna

Yes Simon is a meany sometimes.. i find myself going ooooo and ahhhh and his comments but i think thats why i love him. He cracks me up.. he honestly makes me laugh at alot of things he says. Maybe out of sheer disbelief that someone can be so bold! I like simon the best out of all 3 judges.. they should think of having guest judges to spar with simon lol. Probably only women though because i don't believe simon can back up the mouth he has- maybe one day we will see.

March 01 2006 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

Lets face it.. Simon is an Ass that we have all grown to love. Simon is flat out RUDE. You have to love that smile because you know whats coming when you see it! I definitely agree, you can't get any more honest then him. I don't always agree with what he has to say but he says how he feels the performance was or wasn't and doesn't sugar coat anything. He is the one they all have to pass. Because they know if they get through Simon, then they did their job. I still don't know how the "twins" got through, they were OK but thats it. I think Simon originally liked them when the other set of twins were ten times better. They gave me the chills when they sang. I was so happy when Simon finally told them that he was sick of their belly aching. They should have made them leave. But I think they knew that they made for good TV. And what was the deal with that kid that made it to Hollywood that bounced around the stage?? Umm Hello! what was up with that?! There were too many good people they let down to let that clown through.

Now being a Mother, I can understand Paula. She likes everyone and doesn't want to hurt their feelings. Many of them are kids. She feels she needs to give them hope and helpful advice.

Randy is the cool one.. He just hangs in there and he has a bit of Paula and Simon mixed together. He tells it how he sees it just a bit more diplomatic then Simon does. With more heart attached to his comments. And why not just be a friend with helpfull advice? I mean it is up to America isn't it?? I think by now, they know what we're looking for.

February 24 2006 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat Simmons

I like Simon. He is truthful, which some need to know how they are really doing. But the mean and hurtful remarks that don't relate to the contestants singing doesn't need to be said. He needs to keep those to himself.

February 24 2006 at 8:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hanxthre Brady

Yep your right...For whatever reasons Simon is the one that counts...The entire reason the show was made was because of Simon's reputation for harsh criticism...Who knew it would actually evolve into a viable singing competition? XD


I know when i watch it my major concearn after somebody sings is "What's Simon gonna say?" Paula Abdul as you've stated is agonizing to watch at times the way she coddles EVERY CONTESTANT...Furthermore she does more harm than good giving hacks a sense confidence they don't deserve (*CoughBobbyBennettCough*)...Randy is a different story...I really can't agree with you that he tries to befriend everyone...There have been times when he has been extremely critical, but standing next to Simon it just pales in comparison...I think Randy is just being himself, and unlike the other 2 judges he actually gives critiques that are very academic in nature...It's not just, "You suck.." he tells you the musical reasoning behind alot of it...Simon just doesn't even bother to give any examination once he deems "you suck"...

Now i don't always agree with Simon...sometimes people give great performances and I'm puzzeled by what he thought he heard...But the one thing i do respect is that he truley believes in what he says (You can often see him being somewhat irate when Paula or Randy challenge him on an honest opinion)...However with all that said...I just don't think this show is worth a damn without him as a judge...

Wow I just wrote alot of meanigful maninglessness X)...

February 23 2006 at 10:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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