Why I Like Simon Cowell

Okay, a seasonal confession: I'm hooked on American Idol...again. This year the gals are much better than the guys and so far, most of the voting has reflected the reality of people's talent (or lack thereof). The judges, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell, are part of the fun. Randy's faux street cred ("Dawg!"), Paula's banal co-dependent kindnesses, and Simon's dry Britishisms create a mix that is by turns warm and caustic, kind and withering.

Simon is growing on me and here's why: in a culture of relativism, grade inflation, and political correctness, where the truth dare not be told (and where truth is discredited as merely the product of one's power, culture, or history), Simon's no-holds-barred responses to performances are refreshing. Simon tells it like it is. He's unapologetic. He gets it right. Sure, he could candy-coat it. Sure, he's often harsh and occasionally mean-spirited. But I appreciate his independence and unapologetic defense of reality. If you want the bracing truth, he's your man.

Of course, for those of us who seek to follow Jesus, we've got to take it a step further: how do we speak the truth, but do so in ways that are loving and helpful? "Speaking the truth in love," was St. Paul's motto. I'd like it to be mine. Dawg.


mbpbooks said...

I liked seeing him with those Kenyan (I think) kids, although I don't get why they didn't identify the "African" country where Coke plans to send some money. All the same, we are equally entertained here in Massachusetts.

John said...

you also surprise me, dr. h! i don't like people who make other people cry, but that's just me. : )

Carl Hofmann said...

I too was very touched by this latest move by American Idol, that of giving back to a world in need. It seemed genuine; let's hope so.

And John, I certainly don't endorse Simon's mean-spirited aspects, just his unflinching willingness to speak out about what he feels is true! Refreshing in this climate, I feel. Hope you're well, buddy.

Shama said...

Yeah Dawg!!!

Steve Hawkins said...

OK, here I go on American Idol (AI). I do love one thing about AI: it is a wonderful avenue, by which an unknown, but very talented person, can be noticed, can be recognized and can perhaps ultimately enjoy a rewarding career in the entertainment field, when otherwise they might never be "found". This is the "Opportunity Factor" of AI. If it all stopped there, it would be great. It doesn’t.

Unfortunately, there is another element of AI, which appeals to our darker side and it is the “Simon Cowell Factor” (SCF). The SCF starts with the screening of the talent candidates that, I think, purposely allows a small number of decidedly untalented people to get far enough through the AI process, that Simon Cowell gets a chance to take *very cheap shots* at these folks after they perform at their predictably low level. Cowell’s cheap shots unfortunately are attractive to that side of all of us that urns to feel better about ourselves, as a direct result of the humiliation of someone else. Most people are able to suppress this ugly tendency, but some indulge themselves shamelessly in it. Simon Cowell is our national enabler for this decidedly un-Christian behavior. And I believe when he so deliciously puts these embarrassingly untalented people down, this represents despicable behavior on his part *and* “despicable-lite” behavior on the part of those who delight in watching it happen.

Steve Hawkins

Linda Hawkins said...

Wow, I guess you can tell who ate gravel for breakfast! :-)

I tend to agree - the AI ratings folks could care less about being labeled “despicable” (or despicable-lite).

But, I think there are certain (untalented) elements who try out for AI, knowing full well what awaits them, and, in fact, have hopes of experiencing the William Hung results and getting a little of their share of fame (and perhaps $) out of it.

Anyway, I guess you can tell which program rarely airs here at the Hawkins’ residence, lest the hair on the back of someone-I-know’s neck stands up!

Carl Hofmann said...

Eiyiyiyiyi, I seem to have struck a nerve! Naturally, I don't support mean-spiritedness--that wasn't what I like about Simon Cowell. What I appreciate is his courage to speak his mind when it's unpopular--and for him to call it as he sees it. I've actually found myself agreeing with his qualitative evaluations of people's performances (but not necessarily his tactlessness!).

Here's some food for thought: how much do you think the votes each week reflect America's opinions of talent and how much reflects their desire to 1) foil the judges; 2) spoil the money-grubbing producers and recording labels' greedy designs; or 3)express their personal tastes?

I think the show doesn't reflect actual talent, but rather it indicates voters' opinions about popularity or their ulterior motives in other areas. My opinion! I think it's time we move on to more edifying subjects, don't you?!

Steve Hawkins said...


How about Don Imus?....just kiddin'