American Idol Judges Get Harsh: Who is the Meanest Judge? [VIDEO]

Over the many years the show has been on the air, the American Idol judges have gotten pretty harsh with the contestants at times. Some of the judges, of course, have been worse than others, but who is really the nastiest judge of them all?

American Idol judges Jennifer Lopez

We’re personally think no one will probably ever top the original king of mean, Mr. Simon Cowell himself. However, almost all of the American Idol judges have gotten pretty snarky at one point or another. Even our lovely current panel beauty Jennifer Lopez has had a few choice words for some of the more horrible contestants during her time on the show.

From Simon Cowell to Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul to Steven Tyler, all the American Idol judges have their moments when they just can’t resist telling it like it is. Sometimes, perhaps, giving it to the contestants a little too honestly.

Who do you think is the meanest American Idol judge? We still think that prize belongs to Simon!





  1. I think the judges now maintain a good balance. Harry Connick Jr. is probably the most critical overall but he is never mean. He is a Southern gentleman, after all

  2. Simon may have been harsh and even mean sometimes, but he said what others didn’t have the courage to say. Sometimes people just have to be told “no.” Simon could have been a little more tactful in the way he did it, but the reality of life is that people aren’t used to being told no anymore so it seems harsh no matter how it is said. Simon often could have just said no and stopped using examples of what he thought the person’s voice sounded like. All the same, when Simon left, Idol got bland, and the sugary praise got boring.

    • Hello giselle, Nice to see you back on the site. Kind of wondering what happened to Branden….Simon was by far the best and most critical judge on Idol. Your right, the show did lose something when Simon left. I hope that when they know its the last season that the original three judges return for the final season. JMHO

  3. loved simon as a judge. he told the truth if somewhat brutally. when you were brilliant he told you. and he had no qualms about telling you when you sucked. this is show biz, people

    • Hello pr63. Great to see my New Yorker friend back on the site. I am so excited about the news that Adam Lambert is going to be on the show as a mentor. Good Choice AI!!!!
      Getting back to the subject……Simon was the best and most critical judge on idol. I am so upset that the X-Factor is canceled. Their last season was really a good one. They had really good talent on it. Oh well!!!!
      How has AC been treating you?

      • i swore i wasn’t going to watch idol this season but lo and behold, harry connick showed up and so it’s back on the agenda. evn though miss j lo is back. adam on the show will be the best part of the entire season, but i’m preaching to the choir here! a.c is having its ups and downs. it’s pretty dead, for the most part. the taj is a ghost town and the only place wiith people is borgata. the east coast in being inundated with snow, snow, and more snow!! hope everything is great with you and your family, grandma!!

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