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5 savage American Idol moments as fans demand 'honesty' from judges

There are some American Idol auditions worthy of going down in the history books. The show has seen some stars soar to heights of worldwide fame. Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and Adam Lambert are just some American Idol success stories. On the flip side, there are some contestants who brought out the worst in the judges and wound up getting some super savage feedback.

Back in the day, the talent show’s judging panel looked vastly different. Katie Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie were nowhere to be seen in American Idol‘s early seasons. In their place were Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell.

Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson at "The Teen Choice Awards 2002" at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, Ca. Sunday, August 4, 2002.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images/FOX.

American Idol judges’ ‘savage’ feedback

Throwing it back to American Idol season 9, one contestant was raising eyebrows among the judging panel.

Shadaii Harris, a 22-year-old college student, from Arlington, Texas, gave the audition her best shot.

Shadaii broke out in song with Alicia Key’s Fallin’ before Simon cut over her saying: “Thank you.”

Simon Cowell said the rendition made him “allergic” to the song.

The savage feedback continued as she was told she hadn’t gotten “the melody,” and Randy Jackson told her she couldn’t sing.

Shadaii burst into another song, singing: “She’s out of my life,” as Simon said over her: “…hopefully you’re out of mine soon.”

Trista Giese AKA ‘Chewbacca girl’

Delving further into the American Idol archives, Trista Giese AKA ‘Chewbacca girl’ attempted to find fame, too.

In season 6, the Brainerd, Minnesota gal had the judges in fits of laughter.

Her day job saw her performing as The Wizard of Oz’s Lion, and Trista took her “unique” talents to the American Idol audition room.

Simon described it as “one of the strangest auditions he’d ever seen in his life,” and the judges were so savage they didn’t even take Trista’s homemade poster she’d brought with her.

Season 7 also saw Simon handing out some more savage remarks.

Steven Thoen was another auditionee who was totally disappointed to not make it through, telling Ryan Seacrest: “I’m just going to get my stuff and go.”

Simon said Steven’s audition was “…one of the weirdest he ever heard.”


She was MAD mad! #americanidol #theidolguy #badaudition

♬ original sound – CodyTunesIn

Singer gets ‘hurt’ and ‘angry’

American Idol season 1 saw one contestant fire back at the judges.

After Tamika Bush performed The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston, Randy said: “I don’t think you’re a solo singer at all.”

Tamika told Randy how she was “hurt” by his comments before the rest of the audition went down in flames.

Simon told her: “Go to an audition where they lie to you. Thank you very much.”

‘Worst singer in America’

Derek Stillings took center stage during his American Idol audition in season 1.

Simon had some choice words for the budding performer, telling him he was the “worst singer in America” adding how it would likely be his “first and last audition.”

Fans demand ‘honesty’ from judges

American Idol season 22 is in full swing, but after Katy Perry announced this year she’s unlikely to return next year, fans have been speculating who could fill her shoes.

The judging panel will likely get a shake-up ahead of season 23. American Idol winner, Fantasia, has already put her name forward for the spot.

However, fans taking to a Reddit thread can’t help but miss the old days and want to see an ‘OG’ style judge return.

The thread creator said how they “hate how sugarcoated” the judges’ feedback is nowadays.

Many agree, calling for the old style of criticism to return ASAP.

One said the show’s judges should be “experts” in their field, much like the “Sharks on Shark Tank are experts.”

“Simon and Randy are experts… Paula was there to judge the contestants from a performer’s point of view. IMO, we need another record producer on the panel.”

More agreed, writing: “That was so well put and I agree completely. It makes it so aggravating now when the judges tell everybody that they’re so good. We need more honesty. I think that’ll bring on better contestants too. The OG seasons were so much better.”

Seeing the trio of Simon, Paula, and Randy back together one day doesn’t seem totally out of the question.

The three said they’d like to work with one another again during a 2019 appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. But, there’s no word on whether it would be American Idol.


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