Simon's 'Are You Drunk?' Comment Offends Taylor

4/13/2006 6:49 PM PDT

April 13, 2006 5:00PM ET

TMZ has learned that 'American Idol's' Taylor Hicks was offended by Simon Cowell's remark after Taylor's performance Tuesday night. Simon's comment -- "Are you drunk?" -- pushed a sensitive button with Taylor. Back in his hometown, Talylor has dealt with others affected by alcohol.

We're told Taylor will occasionally have a drink, but he is definitely not a drinker. While on 'Idol,' Taylor is strictly business, often drinking milk with dinner. Indeed, when two of his close friends visited recently, the friends downed beer after beer while Taylor limited his intake to Coca Cola.

Sources say that Taylor was so upset with Simon's "drunk" comment that he almost said something on the air, but resisted. After leaving the stage, Taylor made it clear that he was upset.

Brian Less of the Taylor Hicks Band back in Alabama told TMZ recently: "Right now, he (Taylor) knows that he's got to stay focused out there and do his best. So, Corona's not going to help him!"

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