Whether you were an avid fan with an itchy voting finger, a casual viewer or just someone who got stuck listening to post-show chatter around the water cooler , American Idol has been a huge piece of our pop-culture puzzle for the past 15 years. Soon — April 7th, to be exact — it will all just be a distant memory. A UC Berkeley civil engineering student at the time, off-key Hung and his sweet-but-clueless Season 3 proclamation of having "no professional training" won hearts across America in — but, alas, not a Golden Ticket. Love him or loathe him, Simon Cowell helped put American Idol on the map with his scathing critiques of contestants, especially during the regional auditions. In Season 3, though, one Idol reject took the acid-tongued judge to task. Cowell couldn't stop laughing as year-old Jonathan Rey bizarrely butchered Shakira's "The One," saying, "I think we're going to have to cancel this competition — that was terrible.
Kara DioGuardi Reveals True Story of ‘American Idol’ Stint
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I hated myself for seeking his approval. I have never been that person. I felt more like I was there to serve ulterior motives and ones that I could never achieve for them. Under those circumstances, I could see why Cowell was less than kind to me at times, but it still hurt. The woman I used to be — the one who had forged ahead in a sea of doubt and had still risen to the top of the music business despite the bumps in the road — was gone. I was in a foreign place, speaking a foreign language with no translator. I could never seem to let the real me out.
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I hated myself for seeking his approval. I have never been that person. I felt more like I was there to serve ulterior motives and ones that I could never achieve for them.