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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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God what a dumb c**t if she were off her damn pills long enough she wouldn't have taken it out of context

2060 days ago


When my parents left today, I am so glad they didn't have me arrested for saying "be careful" to them. I couldn't believe
Paula. She gets dumber and dumber with each Idol season. Actually, this is a common form of goodbye in the south, and I've heard it other places too....even in the north! So, 42 year old guy, people that use the word "colloquialism" might not hear the term being used, but I'm going to guess that you miss out on a lot of things. Cheers, and BE CAREFUL!

2060 days ago


I can't believe this show has lasted so long. American public are sheep supreme.

2060 days ago


We say that all the time. Mostly 'cause we're drinkin'. As in, "Be careful careful the law don't careful goin' down the mountain..."

2060 days ago


Where I live - Tampa, FL - "be careful" is NOT a common goodbye. I knew what it meant from summers spent in Tennessee and Kentucky as a kid. I asked a bunch of my friends if they'd ever heard the expression, and many of them said they had never. So it's not as wide-spread as many of you think.
However, there's a caveat... even the ones who had NEVER HEARD IT used before in conversation still freaking knew what he meant by it! It wasn't threatening, but like "be safe" or "take care", and that was obvious even to those who'd never heard it. Come on, judges!

2060 days ago


Bayouman-- Where have you been? I am 35 and have lived in the South,
several Southern states, my entire life...we have always said this! I have
always heard this as a farewell! You have evidentally been
living under a rock! What part of the South do you live in anyway? I'm sure it's not a phrase exclusive to the South.... even someone who hasn't heard/said this, should have enough sense to know that it wasn't a threat!

2060 days ago


What a bunch of idiots those judges are. Specially that Paula Abdul. She is so ridiculous. It's gotten to the point where we can't even tell someone be careful???? That's a threat??? I don't care if she did have some crazy fan off herself in front of her house. Give me a break!!! You have to be able to differentiate between the two. If she is THAT crazy about what happened with this other fan then she better just get the heck off the show and go live in a cave somewhere where no one will say anything to her ever again.

2060 days ago

Jeremiah from TX    

Ok, a few facts to get out of the way....I don't watch Idol, I rarely watch TV but am constantly on the pc but I dont blog. I just heard about Idol apologizing and the incident with the guy from Kentucky closing with "be careful". This story has struck a nerve with me and I don't know why. I feel like venting though. I am sooo angry at those damn judges not being aware or having any common sense. This even includes the rest of those in that room filming. I wish they could all get a slap across the face for being so ignorant. Have there been problems with contestants hunting them? Where did this defensive nature come from when parting ways with someone you'll never see again? Until now, I thought everyone....everywhere used that saying on occassion. I hear it everywhere! The only people that you wouldn't say that too is someone you DON'T like! You say it as part of a goodbye BECAUSE you care! The judges really need to be more careful cuz this kind of stuff will get you a bad rep. Perhaps they are already beyond that threshold. I really haven't read the other blogs here and probably won't. Seems like I am not alone in my opinion. That singer didn't deserve that. Can we ask (make) a judge to leave? Ah, I'm feeling better already. But I won't forget this from Paula and Simon.

2059 days ago


I too am from the south, Mississippi, and yes it is used sometimes on a daily basis around here but for me having watched that episode Paula was just simply scraping the bottom of the barrel LOOKING for trouble! I mean REALLY??? What "normal" person takes something like that as a THREAT! I felt bad for the dude.
Get over yourself Paula, everyone else has.

2059 days ago

jesse lee cook    

I feel real bad for that man.nice people always get the shaft!jesse

2058 days ago

Suri needs a coat!    

I watched that show when it orignially aired. I did not take that line as a threat. I grew up in VA and people say that all the time as part of their goodbyes. His tone was not at all threatening. He seemed very confused by Paula and Simon carrying on about it. Perhpas if he was better looking, they would not have been so ridiculous?

And Paula Godspeed killed herself in front of Abdul's house LONG after these audtions were taped last summer/fall. That would not have been in their minds at the time this incident was taped.

2058 days ago


Please do not watch American Idol. Show the idiots what a threat is by
getting these dummies fired. People from Kentucky need to stand up
and kick some butts. American Idol and the televison station management need to
send that man a million dollars for insulting him. Screw the apology.

2058 days ago
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