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Top 10 Unforgettable Simon Cowell Insults

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Alex Slade Does this man have any filter? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Simon Cowell Insults. For this list, we’re looking at the meanest, funniest and most creative insults ever thrown at contestants by judge Simon Cowell. Whatever the show, if Simon Cowell’s destroying dreams, it’s eligible for this list. Special thanks to our users Mattyhull1, PleasureG and David Ferguson for suggesting this idea, be sure to check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/%20Top%20Ten%20Simon%20Cowell%20Insults

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Does this man have any filter? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Simon Cowell Insults.

For this list, we’re looking at the meanest, funniest and most creative insults ever thrown at contestants by judge Simon Cowell. Whatever the show, if Simon Cowell’s destroying dreams, it’s eligible for this list.

#10: “Only Person in It”
“The X Factor” (2004-)

It’s one thing to be told that you can’t win against steep competition. It’s another thing entirely when you’re informed that you still couldn’t claim the title even if all other participants were taken out of the equation. But if Simon says it... it’s probably true. Only, telling the contestant he can’t win was only the beginning. Simon adds hyperbole to insult, stating it wouldn’t happen even in a million years. Though perhaps not his most original line, you have to appreciate the savage honesty of it. The heartbreak on the contestant’s face says it all - Simon has successfully crushed yet another dream.

#9: “Nightmare”
“American Idol” (2002-16)

Some people dream of shadowy figures dragging them off into another dimension, others dream of falling, spiders or things that go bump in the night. Simon’s nightmares, however, feature dreadful singing - a fact he has felt compelled to share with more than one contestant during the audition process. To be fair though, he does listen to a lot of terrible vocals, so it’s only natural they’d seep into his subconscious. In this case, the contestant’s voice literally sounds like the shriek of a banshee. We only wish Simon had stopped her sooner.

#8: “The Most Disillusioned Group”
“The X Factor” (2004-)

Oh boy, this is a long insult if we’ve ever heard one. Every time Simon pauses while delivering this soul-crusher of a line, you can see the group silently praying that that’s the end of it. But sure enough… he’s always got one more cutting point to make. By the time he’s actually finished, Simon has criticized their originality, talent, and edge, both as a group and as individuals. He then essentially tells them never to perform again. Ouch. What must really hurt is the fact that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to groups. He did give us One Direction after all.

#7: “Horrible, Horrible”
“American Idol” (2002-16)

Simon’s not one to employ a gentle vocabulary when giving (ahem) constructive criticism. “Horrible” is an extreme word to use in any situation, and the fact that he repeats it over and over again, referencing different parts of the act is just ruthless. Thankfully, Simon does find one redeeming quality in the performance; the fact that they stopped it early. It’s definitely a verbal beat-down, and the contestant’s response is pretty much the only thing he could say, because, let’s face it… there’s no arguing with Simon.

#6: “Completely and Utterly Useless”
“Britain’s Got Talent” (2007-)

Here we have a young dancer by the name of David who aspires to be like Justin Timberlake. Unfortunately, he just isn’t up to scratch, and that’s putting it lightly in comparison to what Simon has to say about him. We’re not sure ‘useless’ was the right word to use, but it’s safe to say that everyone is in agreement about stopping the act. David curses at the audience and runs off like a child. He has a chance to apologize, but unfortunately, his sensitive side rears its ugly head once more, and the situation only worsens.

#5: “One of Those Creatures”
“American Idol” (2002-16)

We know Simon doesn’t hold back when critiquing singing voices and is known to show tough... love, but making fun of one’s appearance is a little uncalled for. While the contestant doesn’t have the best dancing moves or vocals, according to Simon, his appearance isn’t great, either. Simon compares him to a creature in the jungle ‘with those massive’ eyes. Whether they agree with the bush baby comparison or not, the other judges, despite their best efforts, can’t help but laugh. Thankfully, the contestant has a good attitude and doesn’t lash out like we’ve seen other contestants do.

#4: “Mr. Boring”
“American Idol” (2002-16)

Boy, Ian Benardo sure is an interesting character. But... interesting doesn’t mean talented, and without so much as a half-decent performance to back it up, his flamboyant persona did him no favors with Simon. Benardo’s rendition of Gloria might’ve been painful, but his reaction to Cowell’s criticism… was downright excruciating. Having already made it clear to Ian that he has no talent, Simon takes aim and delivers the killshot, calling Ian him “Mr. Boring” after the contestant questions the Brit’s legal status in the country. Unwilling to let it go, Ian is soon escorted out by security. If only that had been the last we’d see of him.

#3: “I’m Glad You Did”
“American Idol” (2002-16)

It’s easy to tell when someone’s off-key or has botched a note, and it should be easy enough to determine when someone’s finished singing, but not with this contestant. She stops in the most awkward of places, and it understandably catches the judges off guard. The way Simon quickly stops her from continuing however is hilarious, proving that sometimes the subtlest of insults can be the most cutting. You can tell by the look on his face that he has not enjoyed it one bit and desperately wishes to avoid having her continue. Considering how often he stops contestants from singing mid-performance, it was nice for one to finally do it for him.

#2: Worst Singer in the World
“American Idol” (2002-16)

It’s one thing being called the worst singer in America, but in the world? That’s gotta be tough to hear. The judges can’t hide their laughter, but they nonetheless give him a chance to sing a second song. Unbeknownst to Keith, it’s at his expense so the judges can continue watching in amusement. Simon then cuts straight to the chase, smashing the young man’s hopes and dreams. You’d think Keith would’ve called it quits after that, but proving that he still had more to offer, he subjected himself to Simon’s scrutiny once again a decade later on The X Factor, where he won over the audience and judges alike.

#1: “Get a Lawyer”
“American Idol” (2002-16)

While Simon’s insults are entertaining, it’s often the look on the contestant’s face afterward that makes them. Simon has a habit of asking a series of questions or telling an anecdote that could go either way before he gets to the punchline, and this right here is his magnum opus. Delivering two insults for the price of one, he instructs the next contestant to sue her singing teacher. Ouch. Something tells us that this particular case didn’t make it to trial, but the moment went down in the history books as one seriously well-delivered insult.

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