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'American Idol'

Mocking Simon Cowell

Behind the Scenes

1/18/2012 8:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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Simon Cowell is the butt of an inside joke behind the scenes at "American Idol" ... and it's all over some cocky statements he made about a rival show just a couple of months ago.

Sources at "Idol" tell us ... the honchos have been joking that they'll be DEVASTATED if the show doesn't get 20 MILLION viewers when "A.I." debuts tonight.

They're not serious ... they're simply mocking their former judge, who told the Hollywood Reporter last year he was counting on "X Factor" to pull in 20 mil on its debut ... or else he'd consider it a disappointment.

For the record, X Factor fell short. But 'Idol' has hit the 20 million mark multiple times ... including the 2011 finale.

Maybe the "A.I." guys aren't joking after all ...

29 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

shelly    

i will not be one of the '20 million'...so not interested

925 days ago
17.

3Storms    

Not surprised when considering the size of the egos of Lopez and Tyler. Simon made that show, not them. They'll ALWAYS be scraping the leftovers.

925 days ago
18.

Reader    

Ryan Seacrest brought us the Kardashians. You decide if you are going to watch American Idol.

Boycott e channel and American Idol.

925 days ago
19.

Snowman with a Turnip Nose    

Some lame butthurt office joke / comeback is newsworthy now? TMZ, please contact me because I've heard plenty of hilarious ones at the water cooler this week! Material for days! Consider it!

925 days ago
20.

infohollywood    

Is that not the purpose of the show. AI, to mock everyone but themselves Why should Simon be forgotten

925 days ago
21.

Pete Beau    

Who is that wrinkly prune on the far left?

925 days ago
22.

John    

Those pictures of Steven Tyler in a bathing suit top it all. I don't think Simon needs a bra.
And JLo and her "boy toy" make Madonna look classy.

925 days ago
23.

Gobsmacked    

Idol is getting old... and tired. I'm just not interested in this show anymore, although at one time I was an avaid viewer. How many more lame audition shows can we sit through showing rude contestants who are there simply to show how rude they can be. Sorry, JLO and Stevie don't cut it for me as judges, either. Randy never did cut it IMO. The fact that he's STILL there shows that he was the no-talent judge on the panel just there for the pay-check. No one else wants him!

925 days ago
24.

billy cema    

It's become "Country Idol". It's so obvious that the producers choose the winners long before the finale. Other contestants have revealed this many years ago.
"X-Factor" should let two of its judges go. They don't add much to the program. Simon can judge the singers, but he can't judge the panel of judges correctly, it seems.

925 days ago
25.

dsong    

Test

923 days ago
26.

Jenn    

Idol is fantastic with the current 3 judges- the ratings will speak for themselves. Give me a break- scraping the leftovers? Simon was sure it would tank last season and it didn't. Love Steven- he knows what he's doing and is comfortable enough to not get all egotistical and insulting with contestants.

912 days ago
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