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'American Idol' is newly nice, but what would Simon Cowell say?

April 21, 2011 |  6:30 am

Hayleyreinhart Clearly, someone has kidnapped the judges on "American Idol" this season.

We're not sure what Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are doing on the show, but it's not judging. How could it be when nearly every performance, no matter how mediocre or downright lame, is greeted with "I loved that!" or "You gave me goosebumps!" or "Dude, you slayed it!"

So it's time for "Idol" to return to its roots. Its roots of nastiness! It's time to ... bring back Simon.

Of course, any "Draft Simon" movement is doomed to fail, since Simon Cowell is already committed to "The X Factor" on Fox this fall. So we'll have to create one: a Fake Simon. Someone who can restore sanity to the proceedings.

What would our Fake Simon say about the performances on Wednesday night's show? We think we know. Are some of the comments gratuitously mean? Sure. But so were Real Simon's. Remember?

Read on for Fake Simon's comments:

Scotty McCreery, "Swingin": That sounded like something you'd hear at -- what do you call it? -- a square dance lesson. I wouldn't buy that record. You just took a giant boot scoot backward with that, Scotty. Sorry! 

James Durbin, "Uprising": Well, James that was a very nice, powerful vocal, but was all the melodrama necessary? The drum corps, the epaulets, the waistcoat. I don't mean to be rude, but you looked like a drum major in the zombie army.

Haley Reinhart, "Rolling in the Deep": Look, Haley -- Adele is already one of the greats. And that was just a pale imitation of her. The song was bigger than you are. When we talk about karaoke on this show, that kind of performance is what we mean.

Jacob Lusk, "Dance with My Father": Jacob, I wonder if we had not seen the video of what this song meant to you, would it have still seemed so powerful? I suspect not. Nice try, but it was a total "telethon performance" and really wouldn't have worked on its own.

Casey Abrams, "Hard to Breathe": Oh, Casey, that was soooo corny. The coming to the edge of the stage, the high fives, the kissing of Jennifer. You looked like one of those precocious kids in the School of Rock programs, where their parents pay a ton of money so the little ones can impersonate rock stars. Only parents go to those shows because only parents want to see it. 

Stefano Langone, "Closer": Well, clearly you've got the young girls' votes, Stefano. But not mine. You didn't hit a lot of those notes. And shouting is not singing. I think you may have packed your bags with that song.

Lauren Alaina, "Born to Fly": Well, that was fine but nothing special. And that's the problem. This is a singing competition. And that was not competitive. It was not memorable, and it will not help you. I'm not sure you have the confidence to be here. And being a pop star is all about confidence.


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-- Scott Collins (

Photo: Haley Reinhart performs on "American Idol," April 20, 2011. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox