What would have happened if Simon Cowell, the inspiration and chief executioner for the wildly popular X Factor show had been around to judge the big stars of American music before they became legends.
Just how many of them would have survived the gauntlet of his withering criticism? I think many would have curled up under his sarcasm like slugs deluged by salt and withered away.
Let’s take a look at what would have happened had Simon Cowell initiated some of the famous voices of today into the world of commercial rock and pop music-
TINA TURNER- “ Miss….Miss…! Please stop shaking your money maker for a moment! You’re heating up the place with that flopping around. You are also heating up Randy. Dear, you’ve got to slow it down a bit. You’re flinging sweat everywhere. No more coffee before auditioning. Absolutely no stimulants. You might also want to wear smaller skirts- I’ve learned more about the female anatomy in the last 3 minutes than I did in 3 semesters of biology.
Its also making Ellen a bit randy. You’re singing is fine, but your facial expressions are scaring the hell out of the musicians. Also, you shimmied so hard in the last number that your bra flew off and blinded the drummer in one eye!”
BOB DYLAN – “How can you call yourself a singer with that nasal whine? Humans are designed to sing through their mouth, not their nostrils, although I can see your predicament- it is the most predominate part of your face. Your song says ‘Everybody must get stoned’- it certainly looks like you did to come up with some of these lyrics. And, something to think about, shaving between auditions might keep people from thinking you slept on a park bench last night..”
MICK JAGGER- “Wait a minute! Your supposed to be singing, not prancing around! Somehow I don’t think that your singing about your lack of ‘satisfaction’ is going to get you anywhere. When you sang ‘Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and fame’ who did you say you are? …That’s what I thought you said and I believe you. Could you please try to keep your big lips away from the microphone when you sing? I don’t want the next person using it to come down with some sort of venereal disease.”
TOM WAITS- “How did you get in here? Security!!! We are paying these guys too much if every bum off the street can get in here! Security! Get over here! Buddy, your voice sounds like someone rubbing a frog on a washboard. Go somewhere and take a bath! You’re better off using your throat to wash down cheap whiskey with your chums.”
DOLLY PARTON- “Honey, you’re not going to make it on boobs alone. Don’t lean too far forward or you might lawn dart off the stage. That high pitched whine you call a voice sounds like an old Kentucky air raid siren. When you add that deep south accent to it its enough to peel the paint off Kara’s finger nails. However, big hair is good in the recording business- it cushions your head when you take a fall.”
PAUL McCARTNEY- “What the hell? ‘Coo-coo-ca-choo I am the Eggman Coo-coo-ca-choo’? Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’? Are you singing pop music or nursery rhymes? This is reality mate, not Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Don’t expect to ever get knighted by the Queen for this kind of stuff! The only way you’re going to make it is to team up with someone who knows something about music. And you’ll never get anywhere with that haircut.”
LYLE LOVETT- “Didn’t you star in that David Lynch cult movie ‘Eraserhead’? You’re so tall doesn’t your head get caught up in ceiling fans? If I hear one more song about how wonderful Texas is I’m going to urp. If Texas had been around at the time of the Revolutionary War with Britain we would have let you keep it without a fight!”
MADONNA- “Excuse me, the reflected light off the glitter on your snow cone brassiere is blinding me. Could you cover them up with something please? Thank you. And thank you for more reasons than just the glare. First off, Miss, I think that if you were to wear more clothes to the audition it might take some of the chill out of your voice. Have you ever thought about having just one special image instead of so many? I’m beginning to think you might have a multiple personality disorder, although they all seem to revolve around being a slut.”
JOHNNY CASH- “You just sang ‘I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die’. I get the feeling they might have let you out of prison a little too early. Are you a friend of the guy we had security throw out earlier? You might want to think twice before giving up that job as a tenant farmer. If you show up here again I’ll have a song for you- A Boy Named In A Suit To Sue. One more thing- if you’re planning on being before the spotlights you going to have to wear something other than just black all the time!”
ROD STEWART- “Was that singing or was someone making cat gut strings out of a cat that wasn’t quite dead yet? And, NO, I do not think you are sexy. You shouldn’t have asked. The name of the type of singing you are trying to do on some songs is ‘crooning’, not ‘looning’ like the sound of a bird. It would help too if the hair were combed once in a while.”
NEIL YOUNG- “Are you related to that Dylan fellow? I know you’re both from way up north somewhere and both sound like the nasal cavities got infected from the cold. I thought you might be brothers. There are similarities- the hayseed clothing, so counter culture that you probably live under sewer grates, anti-authority except for the banks that hold your money. Have you ever thought of getting in a group with, say, three other guys who could help drown out your voice?”
BOY GEORGE- “OK Miss…what…oh, sorry. You should really put that on your name tag. Is that why you call yourself that so people will know? OK, I get it now. All right, I know you sang ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me’ and after hearing it I have to say “YES!!” emphatically. If you want to keep on in this field of music I might suggest getting an operation- the opera still needs castratos. I’m sure you’ll never miss your little jewels. It will also help keep you out of the Army, although if you dress like that maybe you don’t have to worry.”
ELVIS- “Well, you have a strong voice, but I really have to wonder about a contestant who is romancing a ‘howndowg’, as you put it. I think those peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwiches you eat before coming on stage gum up your singing voice some. It would help if you would concentrate more on the lips and less on the hips. ‘Back field in motion’ is a move forbidden not just in football but on many TV shows too. Kara finds it very distracting and she’s slobbering all over herself.”
BARRY MANILOW- “That was so slick I’m surprised you didn’t slide right off the stage. Could you please back up a bit? The light shining off your squeaky clean looks is blinding me. Does your mother know you are here? If you write the songs that makes the whole world sing would it be possible to please let someone else sing them? Watch out as you leave, there are truant officers lurking around!”
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN- “Do you gargle with gravel each morning to get that voice? It was nice that you brought your whole band with you but it doesn’t change your singing any. I know its ‘Hard To Be A Saint In The City’, but you sure aren’t going to be in any chorus of angels either. Did the thought of dressing up for an audition ever occur to you? Those jeans look like you wear them to every song-a-long you do. Its really a good thing that you are ‘Born To Run’ because the entire New Jersey Tourist Bureau is here to kneecap you for ruining their business.”
ELTON JOHN- “The Bitch Is Back alright! Your certainly hit that nail on the head. It’s nice that you dressed up for us today. Are you going to Mardi Gras afterwards? We had a lady named Madonna in here earlier who could have loaned you her twin traffic cones to accent your outfit. I just hope that you aren’t looking at your future career through the same rose colored glasses you are wearing now. I’ll use one of your own phrases for the judgment of your performance- Get Back Honky Cat!!”