Simon Cowell, formerly of American Idol and eventually of its network bedfellow The X Factor, sat down for a chat with Vulture about his old and new ventures, and a few other things. For starters, he wanted to talk about things that hopefuls on his show should probably never say, for fear of them being banned:
“Pitchy” was a word we heard far too often on Idol during your tenure. Any word you’d like to ban from The X Factor?
Yes, I’ve got it: journey. It’s been banned for two years. Even if you’re on a journey, you can’t say you’re on a journey anymore. I don’t know where this word came from, but it popped up like three or four years ago. And it’s like, “Why are you using this word ‘journey’ to describe what should be the most fun time in your life?” I’ve banned my producers from saying it. We fine people who say it. It’s the “J-word.”
He also had some not-very-nice things to say about this season of Idol, although they were couched in vaguenesses—saying that he wasn’t “on the same page” as the judges populating the panel now, noting that he had heard Nigel Lythgoe talking about his absence being a good for the show. And, hey, he agrees!
When I said recently in an interview that Idol got better without me, I meant it in a positive way. I was not happy being on the show anymore. In hindsight, I should’ve waited until the end to announce I was leaving. The timing was off. People got suspicious and it was a weird atmosphere, and it didn’t work for anyone, really.
Especially the audience at home, cough cough. But to keep things positive, let’s note that he remembered a total of one finalist from this current Idol season, and you may be surprised to hear who it is!
The only person I can remember is the young kid with the deep voice, the country singer. But I’d be lying if I said that I knew enough about any of the contestants to have an opinion.
As one of the few Idol pundits who doesn’t think that Scotty McCreery has any chance to win—mainly because I’ve forgotten about his existence while reeling off lists of this season’s hopefuls multiple times—I am shocked by this revelation. And wondering if it’s yet another example of me being wrong about just who the voters of America are calling and texting for!