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Friday, 10 May, 2002, 06:42 GMT 07:42 UK
Rik Waller 'to enter US Pop Idol'
Rik Waller
Waller's Pop Idol bid was halted by a throat infection
Pop Idol runner-up Rik Waller has said he might enter the US version of the TV talent show.

The imposing singer said he wanted to confront judge Simon Cowell, who told him he was "too fat to be an Idol".

Cowell, an executive for RCA/BMG, is to be one of the judges of the US show, called American Idol: The Search for a Superstar.

Simon Cowell
Cowell became a household name after UK show
It is to be broadcast on the Fox network in the summer.

Mr Waller said: "I'd love to enter the American competition just to annoy Simon.

"I might go along and audition just to see his face."

The 20-year-old is currently in New York recording his latest single, a cover of Labi Siffre's Something Inside So Strong.

Mr Waller, from Gillingham, Kent, said his relationship with Cowell soured after he was forced to quit the show because of throat problems.


"Every time I see him I go up to him and say, 'How's you doing, Simon', shake his hand and be really nice to him.

"I think that is the thing that annoys him more than anything, the fact that I'm not nasty to him when he would so love to get that reaction."

Mr Waller's first single, I Will Always Love You, made the UK top 10 but was not a hit on the scale of Pop Idol winner Will Young's debut number one.

UK contestants Gareth Gates (left) and Will Young
UK contestants Gareth Gates (left) and Young both hit number one
Now Mr Waller hopes to break into the US market.

"The US is anybody's territory. You've just got to make sure you do it right.

"There are many British bands who haven't made it in the United Kingdom but are massive in America."

"I think I have the tools to break the American market.

He added: "One thing that is becoming increasingly more evident across the world is that people aren't bothered about plastic pop stars - the ones who care more about their looks than their voice.

"People are realising that it doesn't take good looks to be a good singer."

See also:

29 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
US starts Pop Idol search
21 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
US gets Pop Idol
27 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Pop Idol wins Golden Rose of Montreux
24 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Cowell to write stardom manual
24 Mar 02 | Music
Pop Idol's Gareth is number one
15 Mar 02 | Reviews
Glossy debut for Pop Idol stars
23 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Pop Idol: What's all the fuss about?
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