As some of you may know, I’m a fan of American Idol. As others of you may know, I once got to kiss Paula Abdul.
But Simon is the one who thrills me.
He’s an acquired taste—bitter at first, with a hint of spicy heat as an aftertaste. In the beginning I didn’t care for him. I thought he was too mean, too harsh—I even thought he might be there just to make “good reality TV.” But then I started to notice something. It wasn’t just that he was usually right in his assessment of the performances . . . but that all the performers held their breath until he spoke, as if his opinion mattered most of all. Why? Because he’s honest. He doesn’t hold back when it’s bad, but he also doesn’t hold back when it’s good. So if he says you’re good, you can pretty damn well believe that you are good.
As a manager, mother, and wife, I always find the line hard to walk between honesty and niceness. As girls, we are definitely raised to be nice—at least to each other’s faces. And guys are raised just as much, I think, to be generic in their responses. Take my husband, for instance. Oh, don’t worry, he knows all about my crushes. But I can’t get a straight honest opinion out of him about anything from my hair to my outfits to my cooking. Everything is “fine” all the time. Just once, I would like to come downstairs from getting dressed and have him say: “That outfit is Absolute Rubbish. I don’t know who you are as a person anymore!” Or, better yet, “You look totally hot in that dress, and I think you have what it takes to go all the way!”
I’m dreaming, I know. But I’m dreaming about that dreamy look Simon gets on his face when something is really, really amazing. Like he does in that video making the circuit on YouTube right now of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent. If you haven’t seen it, it is totally wonderful. After watching it I immediately had to download the soundtrack to Les Miserables. I wish I had the courage to sing, but I don’t. If I did, I’d really want to know the truth about how I sounded.
I’d believe what Simon says.