Ellen, Simon Cowell Despise Each Other on “American Idol”

American Idol is still a thing? Well, then! As the current season of Idol–allegedly Cowell’s last–flails on, it’s important that we, as people who lack anything meaningful to do on weeknights, comb each overlong episode for all subtext of acrimony between Cowell and new Idol guest DeGeneres we can find. Because they can’t stand each other! And not in that playful big bro-hates-on-lil’ sis way that Simon and Paula couldn’t stand each other. According to insiders, from DeGeneres’ first day, tensions were high, horns were locked and any number of other clichés you can think of to describe two people clashing. Yes, Howard Stern can’t come soon enough to relieve Cowell of what has become a Brian Dunkleman-like existence as a thorn in Idol‘s side.

Maybe it’ll be a stray hiss. Perhaps a catty stage-whisper to fellow judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi–both who have remained curiously mum on Cowell’s widely-reported bitchiness. But Idol could bring out a nasty streak we haven’t seen before in DeGeneres. In addition to her first day falling on the same day that Cowell declared it would be his last season, he was hissy-fitting all over the place. Furthermore, he was late to work–as he had to make that announcement at Fox’s TCA press conference beforehand. This in turn aggravated DeGeneres. Which aggravation then aggravated Cowell further. This made for inhospitable conditions for the unwitting contestants cowering in their combat boots. They were, however, too meek to be aggravated.

But whenever SiCo came off disproportionately strident that day (and likely, every day since), DeGeneres was quick to defend hopefuls who she felt Cowell had been too quick to blast. Which is a dramatic defection from Abdul’s methods; her form of good cop was to sweetly chirp incomprehensible nothings. That all being the first day, apparently the storm hasn’t let up. When pressed about what the state of storm clouds above the judges table is like now, an anonymous exec cites all that talk about horns and locking and adds, “Don’t even ask.”

Watch DeGeneres’ debut tonight and whisper to yourself, “A storm…is gathering.” Because your friends will probably be watching Lost.

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