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Sunday, 16 June, 2002, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
American Idol: Your views
Simon Cowell with CD:UK presenter Cat Deeley
Simon Cowell is well known for his outspoken comments
After the huge success of Pop Idol in the UK and in various other countries around the globe, the formula has now been transported across the Atlantic to the US.

The producers have even brought in Simon Cowell to head the judging panel, where his bluntness is bound to upset more than a few young hopefuls.

He is joined by 1980s pop star Paula Abdul and veteran music producer Randy Jackson.

"The show was beautifully voyeuristic and at times hilarious," wrote the BBC's Peter Bowes.

"With the ultimate prize being a recording contract with RCA and a date at Hollywood's Kodak theatre, it is bound to gain momentum as audiences latch on to the concept."

But what do you think?

This debate is now closed. You can read a selection of your comments below.

It's unfortunate that people who deserve recording contracts don't get them, instead going to fabricated corporate puppets who can't even write a single tune. American Idol simply encourages this blockbuster mentality. That's why pop music is in such a dire state.
Leica, USA

Simon didn't have a hope against the NY and LA attitudes. Some of the reactions to not being picked made him look meek in comparison!!!
Amanda Ryan, Florida

I missed the Pop Idol programme as I emigrated to Canada before it started. As I read the BBC website everyday and by speaking to friends in England who watched Pop idol I was very pleased to finally get to see what the fuss about Simon Cowell was.

He is brilliant and very honest. Randy Jackson can be just as bad though and I feel sorry for Paula Abdul. I was hooting with laughter at the panel's comments and reactions to the contestants. Some of them just didn't have what it took. I think it will work well over here. I'm looking forward to next week's showing.
Jo Allison, Canada (ex -pat)

I would like to say that Pop Idol in the UK was entertaining, but I would like to add that there shouldn't be an age restriction, as music appeals to all ages. I suggest that if there is a singing competition, age should be open as there are talented singers out there who should be given a chance. Pop Idol in the US will do very well.
Julie Lung, UK

I have yet to see anybody on the show that can actually sing!
Pieter, USA (originally from Scotland)

It was great - never saw the UK version, but as a Brit in the US this is nearest I'll get to knowing what my friends were going on about for so long! Can't wait for every episode.
Emma, San Francisco, USA

I am an English girl living in the US. I had heard about all the hype from my family when the UK version aired. I must say that I am hooked too, I love it. These kids get very upset, angry and defensive when Simon tells them they can't sing. It's so funny. He is a bit mean though. I love Paula Abdul's attitude - I think she wants them all to win it. I have already picked my winner - it's got to be Justin. Now he can sing! Eat your heart out Maxwell!!
Louisa Grady, USA

The only good thing about this car wreck TV programme is that Cowell is blunt and brutally honest with the many "hopefuls" who enter this contest but have no talent. The problem being that everybody thinks they can be a pop star. This will be watched by thousands of wannabees who might think twice about their "dreams" and look at the reality that they probably don't have a great voice that they think they might have and, more importantly yet sadly, if you're not the right weight and are not "beautiful" to look at then you've got no chance.
Simon, USA

I became accidentally hooked on Pop Idol during a brief visit to the UK last November and subsequently had tapes sent to me right up to the final in February. After having watched the first two instalments of American Idol on Tuesday and Wednesday I am thrilled to see that it looks to be an enormous success over here, too.

I actually prefer our judges in general, so far both Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are wonderful counterpoints to Simon Cowell and neither, so far, appear to have that annoying habit of being overly complimentary the way that Nicky Chapman and Pete Waterman did. Good for FOX Broadcasting - I was worried they'd screw it up.
Tim Wilson, US

Simon Cowell is the only one who can see what those contestants are...rubbish!

I couldn't believe how Simon told the one girl that she didn't fit the image of an artist. It was cruel, because Missy Elliot isn't a size 1! The girl that sang an Aretha Franklin song Respect, she could sing. If he knew she didn't have it, he should have told her from the get go and shouldn't have bothered with letting her go on to the next round. There are a lot of heavy set women and men who sing wonderfully. I hope that she realises that she's more than just looks.
Juvi, USA

I think that the show is great. My favourite judge is Simon because he tells it like it is and he makes the show worth watching the way he does it. But I do feel that they could and should have found more talented people than what they found. They found some good singers and some alright singers, I'm pretty sure there were better people out there.
Henry, US

As a Brit who's been living in the USA for two years, I heard all the fuss about Pop Idol in the UK but had to content myself with the info I could find online and the official videos. Now we finally get to see what all the fuss was about! I love Simon's acid-tongued but truthful comments. The size of the egos on some of these hopeless wannabees has to be seen to be believed! Very entertaining viewing - I'm hooked.
Rebecca Bell, USA

I think the show was awesome and I'm glad you all aired it this year, however there should be less rudeness and more compliments. I do understand it is preparing them for the real deal, and they will receive a lot of criticism but that's for them to learn. P.S Go Tamara and Kelli.
Elemuelle Harris, United States

I'm a Brit living in the US (for eight years). Simon's blunt, thoughtful, honest assessments makes this programme addictive. Paula may be well intentioned, but she's not discriminating and doesn't differentiate between good and performers. Randy does a pretty good job. A few of the performers are outstanding, most are a bit mediocre.
Jules, USA

I don't understand why some people think Simon is mean or rude. He's just honest, which in this case is to be preferred over Paula Abdul's patronising attitude. Some of the no-talent people on the show could have been saved the embarassment if only their own friends and loved ones had been as honest as Simon.

Others take criticism so personally, they'll probably never get why no one but their mother wants to hear them sing. Still others have enough talent to sing at weddings, or to front a band, but simply don't have the rest of the ingredients to be a Pop Idol.

In the end, it's most likely that none of these people will be a Pop Idol. And as for whether it takes talent to judge talent, how many of a true pop idol's millions of fans have enough talent to be a pop idol?
Dale, USA

I think that Simon is an unrespectful person. He insults people too much and he does not give them even a bit of credit. Paula is a beautiful lady who gives people credit and understands how hard the people work and knowing that they have to learn a new song in like about a week. She is also respectful (not like Simon). I just wanna say that I understand the hard work those people do. Also I wanna say good luck to the people who have made it this far and congratulations. Keep up the good work.
Alex, USA

I was so disappointed tonight! I agreed totally with Simon about Jim. I absolutely love Simon and his bluntness. No offence to Jim, but he must have had the same person voting over and over again! Simon was right with his comments! I respect Simon, Randy and Paula, but Simon may sound cruel but he knows the business!
Beccie Farlow, USA

I'm an Englishman living in the USA. I never got to see the UK version, but the US version is in a sense fun and disturbing. It is great fun to see people perform well and hopefully reach their dreams. It is disturbing because these are not "real" stars, they are (or will be) manufactured. As a musician who has recorded and toured, it is insulting that the producers of the show don't go out and find some people out on the circuit who are struggling. These new hopefuls don't seem to bring very much to the table.

Simon is disgusting. He is not brutally honest, he is just brutal. In reality, very few people are beyond hope. Neil Young and Bob Dylan can't sing for beans, but they are stars. Maybe they will try to improve on the next show (if the ratings continue to be high, a sequel is certain). Maybe they will bring Paula back.
Ozzy, USA

I have to say that there is a lot of talent out there in the world. Unfortunately not all talent is rewarded as it should be! I personally think this American Idol is nothing but a puppet show and the people that make it are not always the ones with the singing talent. I truly believe it is being at the right place at the right time...and being lucky for sure and of course being talented in the field you wish to pursue. If things are meant to be they will happen.. that is my motto in life.. good luck to all the ones who didn't make it and I hope they don't lose their dreams. Aand remember, when one door closes a window opens.
Ana, Canada

Part of why a lot of people like to watch Pop Idol is because of Simon's blunt personality. It does make a difference, but sometimes he can just go too overboard. I don't know yet what the age limit to be on this show is but I hope that when I'm old enough, I'll make it. I'm 12 and have taken singing lessons from a great lady out here in Nampa, Idaho.

Paula, Simon, and Randy. Great hosts. Sometimes, I know how Paula feels when her and Simon fight. That's got to be hard. To conclude this, I just hope that someday I'll be able to make it on the show Pop Idol.

Simon, even I have to agree with you sometimes. Some people can't sing to save their life! Judges, keep up the good work!
Christina, USA

I love, love, love this show. I'm obsessed! As far as Simon is concerned, he's only telling these people what they NEED to hear. If it hurts their feelings, they are in the wrong business. If they want to have an attitude with Simon, then they are ungrateful!
David M. Mainor, USA

I've watched the show once and while I was thoroughly surprised with the honesty of Simon, I was intrigued by his judgements! He echoed what I could only say in my mind; what I would be embarrassed to even say to the TV. I think this show is a definite of the best I've seen in a while... I like that sick feeling of your heart sinking and singing all in one show, over and over and over again.
Brittany, USA

Have not seen one minute of the show but Anne Robinson should wait for him, they may get a discount on tix back to Jolly Old England. Please, please, please English people rise up and do something about the rudeness of your telly "stars". They give your country a bad name. Here in America if you are a bigmouth punk like Simon you don't have to hire security guards to protect you when you are being "honest".....
Rich, USA

It takes a great deal of courage and confidence to sing in front of the whole nation on TV. All the contestants are winners because they have what it takes to do what they love to do, no matter what. After watching this show, more than ever I realise the last vote is really up to the public. Talent is not everything, it takes luck, courage, persistance and supportive people to suceed. I don't like Simon's arrogant manner. What is his voice like? It just goes to show what sort of people run the recording business, and the picture isn't pretty.

My favourite host is Randy as he's honest, but shows common courtesy and respect to the contestants. I was most thrilled when Jim won third place, after Simon said, "If you win, we will have failed." It's refreshing to know we, the public, decide on the artists we want to hear, not some snotty executive. The lead singer of The Crash Test Dummies was told he couldn't sing, but we love his songs, as they sound like something we can sing too. Hence Bob Dylan's sucess many years ago.
Patti, Canada

I really love this show. It is really interesting. Simon is the rudest person I know and he needs to get a life. Paula is really great and I agree with most of her opinions. As for Randy, he was really rude last night.
Ashley, USA

See also:

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