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Simon Says "I Wasn't Listening. I'm Horrified!"

4/18/2007 2:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Simon CowellTMZ spoke with Simon Cowell this morning about last night's incident on "A.I.," in which Cowell sarcastically rolled his eyes after contestant Chris Richardson offered condolences to the families of the victims at Virginia Tech.

Cowell told TMZ, "I couldn't hear what Chris had said. I was talking to Paula. My reaction (rolling my eyes) was to what he had said previously, that singing nasally is a form of singing."

It's true, when the judges are off camera they frequently jab at each other as the singers do their thing.

Simon told TMZ he was shocked when he saw what went down: "When I watched the show back, I was horrified."

361 COMMENTS

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316.

Patricia    

I think people need to get a life.. they are just looking for crap to start. Simon is fine. What should they fire him to. Perhaps we can have Al Sharp or Jessie Jackson..the two scums of the earth weigh in their opinion.. Just leave Simon alone.. for the love of God people if you do not like it don't watch it..

2640 days ago
317.

Lory    

Simon's job is to judge and critique the contestants. They are all trying to make it big in the "grown up world" of Entertainment so they need to be able to handle the bad with the good. Simon doesn't give them the flowery style of criticism.......that's Paula's job. He calls it like he sees it!!! As far as rolling his eyes in reference to Chris, I think that's being misinterpretted. Simon is and "honest" critique but he is a good human being. He would never joke about such a tragdey!

2640 days ago
318.

lucky    

get off it,,,,if you dont like what you see change the channel....you people forget what the judges are there for atleast one of them are honest...come on half the people there arent idols....i cant sing either but that is why i didnt try out....it is an american idol....not lets not hurt someone feelings....and as far as simon saying the comment about chris. it isnt the first time he has said it...there is no way in h ll he sounded like rascall flatt's....sorry ....and ryan had already said his thing about the traggedy in virginia tech...so why did chris bring it up again when he sang like crap.... we are thinking and praying for all the kids and there families and friends in V.T.Go hoakies never give up!

2640 days ago
319.

Anita    

In response to #9's comment. If you watched the show last night then you would know that Simon wasn't disrespecting any of the events at Virginia Tech, but merely having a conversation with Paula. The clip they showed from Monday night's show speaks for itself. And by the way, nobody cares if you never watch American Idol again. There's plenty of other people that will watch it for you!

2640 days ago
320.

LL    

I personally DID think that Simon rolled his eyes at the stupidity of Chris mentioning VT at an inappropriate time (just to save his skin) and was fine with it. I never thought it would be towards the victims in the first place nor would anyone with an ounce of common sence. Now seeing that, in fact , he didn't roll his eyes at Chris's ill-timed shout-out and Simon was conversing with Paula about him wanting to sound like a nasaly singer (which he & we know isn't by choice, but lack of talent) makes it even more embarrassing for this ignorant and pompous kid!

2640 days ago
321.

Brenda Watts    

I like Simon. Sometimes he kinda hard on the contestants, but that is just Simaon. He is a sweetheart....

2640 days ago
322.

anonimis    

I feel that things get too far out of perspective when such emotions are involved. Just because people dislike Simon on Idol does not mean he is so bad. He is playing a part on this show and everyone loves to hate someone. My feeling is that once again the public want to vent their insecure anger and will find any excuse without thinking clearly about the reality. Don't watch Idol if you don't like him or carry on watching as a hypocrite. Remember it is a program for bad singers and wannabes not a forum for anything else.

I don't watch Idol just incase you are wondering - it is time to "can it".

2640 days ago
323.

beth    

I believe Simon has a good heart and would Never be so rude as to disrespect the familys of the VT victims.
He did not know what was being said at the time.

2640 days ago
324.

Linda    

Simon I stood behind you all the way . Thanks again for the heartfelt words.Love ya!

2640 days ago
325.

NOT FAMOUS    

Of course Simon was reacting to Ryans comment about VTech. Neither paula or Simon were in any conversation when the cameras panned back. Then he cought himself being quick to react with the eye rolling and realized even he had done something quite stupid- and so the extra comment after the next singer to try to save face. Simon is quite arrogant and acts like the God of entertainment. I honestly had never heard of him before this series started so I have no idea why is is such an authority. Dog can stay- time for the other two to leave.

2640 days ago
326.

poohh    

Simon was talking to Paula while cris was making his statement about VT. Cris did a great job. I'm glad that Sanjaya is GONE.

2640 days ago
327.

Jerry    

Say what you want, but American Idol is putting a complete spin on this issue. That retape on last nights show was just that...SPIN. When that was aired Wednesday night they panned to the judges immediately with Cris's comment and Simon rolled his eyes, and no way was there time for comments to Paula. Simon got caught flat out.

2639 days ago
328.

JLRutter    

There have been a few not-so intelligent comments from contestants this season. Blame it on nerves. That's the down side of live TV. No editing. Simon was clearly reacting to the "nasal" comment. Simon can be blunt and at times brutally honest, but he's not about offending someone for voicing their grief and sincere condolences toward victims of tragedy. It's cool that it was addressed and hopefully put to rest on last night's show. There's way too much controversy surrounding American Idol this year. Okay, I admit it's entertaining and I've dropped my jaw a few times over the Sanjaya hoopla, arguments amongst the judges, etc. But here's the deal; Either watch American Idol or switch the channel. I don't know about the rest of the planet, but my life is full enough of normal problems and issues to let a silly TV show get me down. It's not the focal point of my life. I love the show and watch it religiously every season, but the day it causes me stress over badly timed camera shots, well, jeez....I'm done with that.

2639 days ago
329.

Baby Cakes    

Ohhhhh pa-leeeeeze.......get over the pettiness already. If it wasn't for Simon none of you would have anything to b**ch about. I watched the same show with the ''eye roll'', and Simon clearly was reacting to the ''nasal'' singing...if singing is what you call it. Chris, although a pretty good entertainer, is NOT a singer. He's what you would call ''a garage band singer.'' Someone who thinks with stars in his eyes and hopes he'll be discovered. He'll make it....he'll have his time in the limelight, will cut a few CD's, then fizzle out. Why? Because he lacks one thing....his own style. He tries to take on the personality of the artist whose song he's singing....although not a bad thing, he needs to have his own style. Idol isn't about performance and talent anymore, it's about ''eye candy.'' Who looks good, has a clear complexion, has the bigger boobs, the tighter butt, etc...The judging is most unfair to the contestants, it should be a 50/50 split, as it is with Dancing With the Stars. The TV audience hears what the producers want them to hear....there are a lot of things we don't hear because of audioelectronics, that the judges hear ''live.'' I think Randy and Paula kinda soften their remarks, but Simon tells it like it is. Good for him! It's called constructive criticism. Isn't that what the Idol judges are there for? When these kids go out into the real world, and if most of them are lucky enough to be given a recording contract, their producers aren't going to be as nice as the Idol judges, and their world won't be sugar coated. Getting back to the ''eye rolling''.....chalk it up to just bad timing, I sure don't think Simon, or anyone would be that disrespectful.

2639 days ago
330.

Lindy    

I ask why did the cameraman shoot Simon as Chris was giving his condolences. The crew knows that the judges talk among themselves throughout the entire show. Seems like a setup to me. Simon had stopped listening to Chris and had turned his attention to Paula -- discussing his opinion on Chris' singing and comments. When Simon isn't doing his job he is known as the most kind-hearted man, gentle and very sensitive and generous. For those of you who want to believe Simon is capable of rolling his eyes over the grief of the family and friends -- well, yawl just love controversy and the feel good of talking down about someone. Yawl probably also talk about your relatives and best friends. That's all I have to say about that.

2639 days ago
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