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"Idol" Apologizes For "Threatened" Judges

1/29/2009 4:40 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

American Idol"American Idol" now has its tail between its legs after Simon and Paula confused a Kentucky contestant's kind, Southern goodbye for a "threat" on their lives.

This statement was just posted on the "A.I." 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, KY.

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.


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If he'd meant it as a well intended goodbye, he wouldn't have said it with a creepy look and pi$$y tone of voice. It's all in how he said it. And it wasn't friendly.

2101 days ago

Just my opinion    

Yes, it is a common phrase in the South, I WAS offended.....................

2101 days ago


What's up with the Idol judges? They're watched by millions of people on screen and on stage everyday and they act like they have stage fright. Boo!

2101 days ago


Give me a break. First of all the judges humiliated him and then he was simply being polite. What a bunch of DRAMA queens on American Idol. Paula should apologize for being such a mess on the show.

2101 days ago

ashley first first    

i'm with #10 I can't believe that. She adutioned and paula and AI were aware of who she was. So It's fine they were worried about that guy. I watched and he was creepy!

2101 days ago

You Can Do Better    

First off, It was Simon who brought up that it "sounded like a threat", not Paula. Second, they live with threats, why wouldn't they be want to be more careful then the average American?? They said their bit, the contestant said he didn't intend a threat. "nuff said. The media blew this wayyyyyyyy out of proportion!

2100 days ago


It's amazing to me that Simon and the rest of the judges can fully accept the double 1 finger salute from that obviously deranged woman that followed them from last season's tryout in Philadelphia (screaming and carrying on like she'd just been released from a mental ward) to New York (too calm to not be from a mental ward) and sit and laugh and act like it's wonderful, but can't accept a goodbye that was a sincere wish for their safety. Just goes to show you what's valued in Hollywood...I'd rather stay in the Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee area than try to "win" a trip there!

2100 days ago


My tax guy said be carteful to me. it is like be sade drive safe etc.

2100 days ago


Wow! I cannot get over how out of touch the AI judges are, and how melodramatic they have to be in order to get the ratings. They advertised the s#$@! out of the fact they were threatened by this good ol'boy. This poor guy deserves a more public apology. I am originally from Louisville and presently reside in Dallas. "Be careful" is just the same as "See you later". Ridiculous how the manner in which he said it could even remotely be misinterpreted for anything malicious.

2100 days ago


Come on! There was NO indication of hostility whatsoever from this contestant. This was a humble, gentle and sincere person. Paula and Simon had from the beginning exhibited a condensing attitude towards this Louisville crowd. It became obvious at some point they were going to show-their-a_s. Comes this simple country person and Paula cant resist the opportunity to make a scene - sensing a nonconfrontational sole, she bamboozles the poor guy with her absurd and
relentless accusation. This is not entertainment.
This lacked sense or reason.

Paula! Break-a-leg! Literally!

2100 days ago


First off--if you have never heard of "be careful" before then what hole are you living in???
2nd-I was very offended and American Idol tried to make that poor guy look like a crazy man--but when he is an innocent southern gentlman.
3rd. Be careful is extremely common around the south and the entire heartland.
4th I am tired of American Idol trying to get ratings by somehow creating drama when the only drama is the lack of intelligence from the judges. Get off the drugs Paula!!!
Now be careful--in whatever you do!!!!!!
The Ville doesn't want you LA Freaks back anyway!!

2100 days ago


I think Paula was drinking too much again...she thinks everyone is in love with her. What a clueless bunch of dumb ass judges. Relax, you has beens!

2100 days ago


I am sooooo over American Idol - especially that Simon & Paula. They make me want to gag.

Get some new hosts, these two are ridiculous, rude, pompous, and just love to lord over these mostly talented contestants.

They make the show about themselves & not the talent that puts themself up there for the whole world to see, only to be shot down by a pig & a has been.


2100 days ago


This show SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just because of Paula's "Stalker"....they alll seem on edge?

Think "A.I." has finally jumped the SHARK!

2100 days ago


Every time I leave for work, my husband says drive careful. Does this mean he's hired someone to run my car off the road or something? LOL I think not.

2100 days ago
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