• Wed, May 18 2011

Boyfriend of the Week: Simon Cowell

Don’t worry, you didn’t miss a sneak preview episode of The X Factor or a stealthy appearance on American Idol. Simon Cowell is my Boyfriend Of The Week because I miss him. Because his absence on the TV has left a hole in my heart that’s as black and as true as his sense of humor.
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People were so quick to say that this season of Idol was better than ever, what with J. Lo playing the cool aunt you go to when your mom’s being a total bitch and you need to borrow doorknocker hoops or get fitted for a NuvaRing®, Randy playing your uncle who used to tour with Journey and won’t let you forget it, and Steven Tyler playing the mystic old lady you met out during that Joshua Tree weekend who ceremonially kills her own chickens and wears their tail feathers in her hair to absorb their life energy.

But as the season dragged on, it became more and more apparent that we were just watching a bunch of helicopter parents. We were watching the completely bullshit message of Bieber’s Never Say Never in action, that message being that everyone has a Bieber within him, and you just have to want to be a Bieber bad enough to make that a reality. Even when Randy suddenly decided to use the wonderfully boozy Haley Reinhart as his landing pad, he descended upon her without any logical reason. The randomness of his criticisms (she chose a song that wasn’t on the radio yet; she sang songs from different genres; she sang a song that wasn’t for her; she should growl more; she should growl less) just illuminated the probability that even he doesn’t understand why he doesn’t like her. All I can make out is that she’s kind of like his Tracy Flick— that she has come to stand in for something he finds upsetting, and maybe it’s a message about himself.

But Simon, Simon always knew why he didn’t like you. Maybe it was your tragic personality or your even more tragic blind spot about your likability. Maybe it was an inbred cheesiness that you couldn’t escape, no matter how profound the song you chose. Maybe it was that he didn’t believe he could make money off of you. Maybe it was because your parents had raised you to be a horrible pageant child with a soulless flipper of a smile and the cheap, cold metal of trophies running through your veins. Maybe it was because you kept talking about how god was looking out for you during a televised singing contest. And maybe it was for as something as simple as the way you dressed, or your hippie hookah lamp mic stand.

The bottom line is, he knew. People made fun of Simon’s hard nipples poking against his v-neck shirts, but you know what those pencil erasers spoke of to me? They spoke of conviction. And conviction is the result of knowing yourself; knowing something about the value of others is merely a byproduct.

I’m not the only one in my house that misses Simon. First of all, I believe my dog Christmas misses him because she saw how much he loves dogs in the episode where he adoringly took an auditioning contestant’s Shih Tzu into his lap, and also because he regularly gives money and vocal support to dog foundations. Second of all, not a week goes by that I don’t hear Brent yelling about how if Simon were there this season he would tell Scotty McCreery to stop holding his microphone like he’s playing a skin flute or that he would tell James Durbin to stop acting like he invented hair metal light or he would tell Pia Toscano that the phonebook would be more exciting to watch singing the phonebook. Brent will usually get worked up into such a state that he can’t even watch the judges deliver their anti-criticisms, instead choosing to distract himself with one of the many super fucking dry books on ancient Greece that he’s been checking out from the library. (I prefer this phase to the one where he was trying to learn how to speak ancient Greek by repeating back dead vowel sounds from the computer for hours at a time).

So my actual boyfriend has the same hole in his heart— if not quite as big, then surely as black, as black as Simon Cowell’s late 1980’s flattop. And together we will await Simon’s return to TV in the fall, when I can’t believe I’m going to get involved (and accordingly get Brent involved) in another reality TV singing snow. These things are real commitments, you know? Maybe I’ll lay off Jewel’s in the meantime.

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