Simon Cowell, the notoriously sharp-tongued judge on American Idol, claims that the show’s upcoming 8th season will place the male contestants on the forefront. “The guys overall, maybe about five or six of them, were just stronger and stood out more than the girls,” Cowell divulged recently to the press. “But I’ve said this in the past and been wrong. Anything can happen.” Besides the battle of the sexes, he also feels that the new batch of aspiring singers will be a more interesting and animated bunch than the previous season’s.
“Last year, it was sort of like battle of the blondes, and they all looked the same,” Cowell said. “This year, there seems to be more personality. They’re definitely standing up for themselves more, which I like, and they’re different from people that we’ve had before.”
Cowell also feels positively about the inclusion of a fourth judge in singer-producer Kara DioGuardi, a woman has actually had professional relationships with past Idol winners such as Carrie Underwood and the latest victor, David Cook. The fact that she has done so, Cowell feels, is evidence that she has no qualms about finding bona fide talent through the reality television format. “She’s got experience,” he adds. “She’s written hit songs, she’s got an opinion - which is very, very important - and she talks a lot.”
Other factors that make Cowell excited for the upcoming season is the return of the wild card strategy, which he claims will lead to “more fun” later on in the show’s run. The fact that the “Idol Gives Back” charity drive has taken a break is also a good thing in his eyes, as it will allow viewers to concentrate on working for their own bills during the recession.
The recent suicide of past Idol contestant Paula Goodspeed, however, has seemed to taint the hype on the upcoming show a bit. Cowell described the incident as “awful.”
“My regret in all of this is we didn’t know how troubled this person was, and if I could go back in time and know what she was going through, we could have spent time trying to help her,” he admits. “But we genuinely didn’t know.”