Is Simon Cowell killing American Idol?

Magistra over on PhillyBurbs wrote an interesting piece about how he/she thinks Simon Cowell is trying to kill American Idol from the inside.

This is an interesting topic for me, because I’ve always felt that Simon would want to wipe out [[American Idol (TV Series)|American Idol]] so that his American version of X Factor can thrive. This year already, I’ve heard him mutter a comment about a contestant needing the “X Factor”. Randy Jackson said something like “I dunno dawg, something’s missing, you need..” and Simon butted in with “yeah, some X Factor” or words to that effect. It’s on one of my earlier posts – go look it up.

The article says that [[Kara DioGuardi]] has been deliberately placed beside Cowell to give her a more prominent place on the judging panel. That’s probably very true – both Kara and Simon give the longest comments compared with Randy and Ellen’s stream of consciousness ramblings. But then, Kara is going to have to be the serious judge in future, isn’t she? She needs to milk some of the authority that Simon’s comments carry that the other judges lack.

They also claim that Simon is championing the bland contestants like [[Lee DeWyze]] and recent eliminee [[Paige Miles]]:

I have a lot of trouble believing that Paige (who couldn’t find a correct note last week if it knocked her up and took responsibility for the paternity) was the most talented vocalist they found out of eleventy million auditions.  Keeping the lackluster talent in the competition helps to diminish the impact (and the ratings) that Idol has upon popular culture.

As well as that, I have to agree that Simon seems to be willfully disagreeing with all the other judges this year. Like the bickering with Kara about interpretation of songs, or the mind games he’s playing with little [[Katie Stevens]] – Kara tells her to do a pop/R&B kind of thing, but Simon says no – country music’s your thing. You can see how confused some of the contestants are this year. I can feel [[Andrew Garcia]]’s pain.

At the end of the day though, Simon continues to give sound advice where he needs to. As Magistra argues, he’s made a career out of being the mean but clued-in judge. He’s not going to start sabotaging contestants at the expense of his own career.

However, the most sinister thing he’s doing this year is chamoioning [[Crystal Bowersox]]. Not because she isn’t good – I think she’s great. But his adulation for La Bowersox flies in the face of everything we know about Cowell. He rants continuously about the need to be contemporary and relevant. His stable of artists cater toward the most mainstream audiences. But here he is praising cover versions of Janis Joplin songs that these days are far from mainstream.

What’re you up to, Cowell?

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