Filed under: Entertainment |

Last night “Sniping” Simon Cowell returned with a vengeance skewering contestants for their appearance, singing and attitudes … it was vintage Cowell, especially the way he rounded on Seacrest.  It was like Muhammad Ali vs Stephen Hawking … no contest.  It also set us remembering some of Simon’s classic zingers … here are just a few.

“Didn’t care much about Katharine McPhee. I don’t think she was a credible recording artist. Katharine will end up on Broadway.”
— skewering season 5’s runner-up to Extra

“Let me have a choice, I’m going to work in a coal mine for 14 hours a day or I’m going to be a runner-up on ‘American Idol’ — give me a break, idiot. There’s no pressure … They’re not working for a living, they’re becoming famous …. No one is dragging these people on to the show … This is a competition that if you do well, you’re going to become famous — end of story, if you don’t like it, do something else.”
— commenting on Clay Aiken’s disclosure that he had started taking antidepressants to deal with the pressures of fame

“I thought she was a stage-school brat when I first met her. But she’s quite a nice girl. And she’s our little Seabiscuit.”
— predicting Diana DeGarmo would win (she came in second to Fantasia Barrino)

‘If you win this competition, we will have failed.”
— to Jim Verraros, before he advanced to the semifinal round

“She was very cold. She could have been a robot for all the emotion or personality she put over. And she said something very stupid. She had a little bit of criticism, and she said: ‘I’m not the slightest bit worried. We’re all winners now. We’re all going to have successful careers.’ When she said it, I said, ‘She’s out.’ Because America decides whether they’re going to have successful careers. To say that was verging on arrogance.”
— on why LaToya London was eliminated

“That was a terrible impersonation of Elvis Presley. The dancing was hideous. It was just karaoke with a capital K.”
— to Taylor Hicks following a lukewarm performance of “Jailhouse Rock”

“It’s rather like having a silly little dog who wants to jump up on your lap and you just swat the dog off. Occasionally in a very stern voice you have to say ‘no.’ And that’s how I deal with Ryan.”
— on coping with super-peppy co-worker Ryan Seacrest

“My act is going to run out fairly quickly. There’s no question of that.”
— on his 15 minutes of fame

“You sounded like Cher after she’s been to the dentist.”
— finding a colorful way to describe Marianna Riccio’s version of “Should I Stay or Should I Go”

“I thought the whole Sanjaya thing was hysterical. I’m happy now because he’s out. I don’t think I’d be happy if he was in the finals, so I can now be quite smug about it.”
— gloating over Sanjaya

“I encourage [back talk]. I don’t think they do it enough because I think they all think they’re going to be voted off if they’re rude to me. I think it’s the opposite. I think the more rude they are to me, the more votes they’ll get …. I think it should be two-way. If I’m rude to them, they’re more than entitled to be rude to me back.”
— Simon reveals his secret desire for more sass from “Idol” contestants

“I don’t think Paula will be having my children. Sometimes I just don’t like her.”
— admitting he isn’t always a big fan of his fellow judge

“We will take her under our wing for six months and we will produce a new Britney Spears [We’ll] keep her away from her stupid friends [and] buy her some underwear.”
— explaining how ‘American Idol’ could have given Britney Spears an extreme makeover

“You’re like every dad who’s ever got drunk at a wedding … got on stage and sang. The difference is, you can sing.”
— serving up a rare, if backhanded, compliment to Taylor Hicks

“Oh, gosh, where do I start? I mean I’m not being rude but you look like the Incredible Hulk’s wife.”
— to a tuneless contestant whose green sweater is a fashion no-no

“Did you really believe you could become the American Idol? Well, then, you’re deaf.”
— taking down another tuneless wonder

“I don’t want babies the same way I wouldn’t want a puppy. It’s too much responsibility.”
— on why he’ll never be father of the year

“I actually really like Donald Trump. I think he’s entertaining. There are so many unhappy billionaires, and he’s a happy one with a great sense of humor. I didn’t think I’d like him. I like people [who] don’t take themselves too seriously. ”
— revealing he has an unlikely role model

“It’s not the most imaginative wardrobe in the world, I agree.”
— admitting to being a dull dresser

“Steven, I’ve heard some weird auditions in my life, but I’ve got to tell you that was possibly the weirdest audition I’ve heard in my life. It was like a 1-year-old singing that song. It was weird. It would be like coaching a one-legged man to win the 100 meter sprint. I may be a great coach, but if you haven’t got it, you haven’t got it. This is just ridiculous, if you don’t mind me saying.”
— to ‘Idol’ reject Steve Thoen following an ear-splitting version of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

“My attitude is, if someone’s going to criticize me, tell me to my face. I find Paula patronizing. It’s as simple as that. Paula is more damaging than I am to these contestants because a lot of people just shouldn’t be singing for a living.”
— taking another shot at Paula

“I like crazy. The panel is wacky, and therefore I think the contestants should be a bit strange as well.”
— rationalizing the agonizing reign of Sanjaya

“They [Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson] loved him. I couldn’t stand him [Taylor Hicks] I didn’t get it. At the end of the day you have to find a bona fide recording artist. Just because you win the show doesn’t mean you will sell a lot of records. Chris [Daughtry] is the one who sold the albums, not Taylor.”
— confirming that no, he is not a fan of Taylor Hicks

“All we’re doing is telling people who don’t have a chance in hell that they don’t have a chance in hell.”
— explaining his plain-talking methods

“I was once offered money to judge somebody in bed, a couple. And I stupidly turned it down. It was about 100 grand, and I should have taken the money, because it would be a much more interesting story.”
— admitting he missed a great opportunity

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