The 12 Dumbest Comments to Date from This Season's American Idol Judges

We've survived three weeks of live Idol shows, and we have interesting artifacts to show for it: a front-runner in Crystal Bowersox, a lucky holdout in Tim Urban, and some of the stupidest comments ever from Ryan Seacrest's quartet of justices. Whether it was Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi, or Randy Jackson, someone always managed to burgle the turd, reference the wrong song, call a piano a guitar, or invent new ways to spread idiocy. But who gave us the dumbest comment of them all? Our winner may surprise you -- with a poetic quote about "reality."


12. Ellen

The Comment: "You set the bar so high with the Paula Abdul song. That's the problem. We're always going to be disappointed, because that was such a great song."

Spoken to: Andrew Garcia, after his performance of James Morrison's "You Give Me Something"

Pitch Problem: Ellen tried to sound either incisive or inoffensive here, and neither occurred. To this day, the judges treat Andrew Garcia's Hollywood Week version of "Straight Up" like an acoustic revelation. Sure, Garcia made the song fun and urgent, but it was a gimmick -- and therefore not 100% fabulous. When Ellen said he'd always disappoint now that "Straight Up" is just a memory, she generalized his body of work and his entire future on the show. She should've saved the unwitting meanness for his take on "Genie in a Bottle."


11. Simon

The Comment: "I completely misunderestimated you from last week."

Spoken to: Crystal Bowersox, after her performance of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long As I Can See the Light"

Pitch Problem: That's not a word. Heh.


10. Simon

The Comment: "So the one with the most potential, to answer your question, is Paige."

Spoken to: Katelyn Epperly and Paige Miles, as both faced elimination.

Pitch Problem: Katelyn Epperly reinvented Coldplay's "The Scientist," dug into Carole King's "I Feel the Earth Move," and respectably trilled The Beatles' "Oh! Darling." That's quite a range. And she's got a powerful voice to match. Paige Miles's renditions of "All Right Now," "Walk Away," and "Smile" are nondescript exercises in underachievement. Simon's insistence that Miles, his onetime favorite, fared better than Epperly seemed utterly unqualified.

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  • David says:

    "How disturbingly literal. If Paige is “smiling,” that means she doesn’t understand the song?"
    Uh, if it's an angry song, and there's no anger behind the smile, then yes, that's a good indication that she didn't connect with it. Would you want someone breaking into a big grin while singing Eleanor Rigby? You Oughta Know? Top of the World?
    If you really wanted some bad comments, how about the universal praise Lily was given after she butchered I Fall to Pieces? (Which also featured some inappropriate smiling.)

  • TimGunn says:

    Lol, Crystal is the truth and the light and the way.

  • Christina says:

    It seems to me that the judges try too hard to not step on any toes while giving constructive criticism. When Paul was a judge, she would sugarcoat too often to be straightforward. Simon definitely more straightforward, but I think he's been asked to soften up because he is not as direct as he used to be.

  • getbacktowork says:

    david- you're right about lilly's version of i fall to pieces... no smiles should've been in that song either, so why wasn't she criticized like paige? b/c it's all b.s. and gut instincts and kara is too busy trying to push her lips out to look full, and trying to connect with anyone but her husband to 'get it right.' she's a d.b., or, as my friend likes to say, a cocky w-bag.

  • Louis Virtel says:

    With the judges focusing so much on "interpretation," it seems puritanical and limiting to rag on someone for getting too smiley. There's more than one way to interpret a song, particularly a singalong number like "Walk Away." It's not "You Oughta Know," where the lyrics are an evisceration. In fact, the line, "Hey, hey, hey, hey, just walk away" is downright unassuming.

  • amy says:

    Am I the only one who thought the whole ripe banana comment by Ellen was stupid! I can't believe it didn't make the top 12.

  • Just Me says:

    I find the judges were very harsh and mean the first 2 weeks of semi finals and soften up on the 3rd week. Ellen was so bad the first week as the first to judge with very limited vocabulary of 'great' and 'adorable' and tended to side with the other judges when asked again. I find her useless.
    Kara should be told not to keep going because the more she carry on, it's the KISS of DEATH for the contestant. She acts like a prosecutor exacting a death verdict in absolute dismissal how unconscionable the contestant is in rendering a bad performance. She should leave it to Simon and just focus giving constructive critique. Kara is very destructive in ending a contestant's dream. She gave that KISS of DEATH to Alexis Grace last year when she dismissed her, "You have lost your edge, right?" How can one redeem oneself after that?
    Simon has softened up but it's too late for some. Their confusing and contradictory advices have warped the natural talents and belief of the contestants in themselves. And they heaped undeserved praises. You can see through their hidden agenda.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    Mr. Virtel, I don't picture you as the small town grocery store type . . .

  • SunnydaZe says:

    I think Kara's comment about "smiling" is the most telling moment on Idol. That is the main problem> Everyone is worried about being "pitchy" so no one bothers to actually feel the song... Siobhan Magnus singing "Paint it Black" was technically perfect but completely soul dead.
    Many of the greatest singing artists of our time were pitchy all over the place. Who cares about technique when they rock your world?

  • dizzy says:

    Justin screams like a sissy girl on this video. He is so childish yet. LOL!