Simon Cowell — the mean judge on "American Idol" — has absolutely nothing mean to say about his visit to Utah.
As a matter of fact, given multiple opportunities in a conference call with TV critics, Cowell did nothing but gush about his visit to Salt Lake City for "Idol" auditions in September.
"You know what? I absolutely loved it there," Cowell said. "I loved the city. I loved the air. And, most importantly, I absolutely loved the people."
Yikes. This is the guy who's never been shy about expressing his dislike for anyone or anything. And there have been times when he hasn't exactly showered praise on cities that hosted "Idol" auditions.
But, again, it was nothing but praise for Salt Lake City.
"We literally got all types there. It was exactly what this show is all about," Cowell said. "It was great fun. I was really impressed with some of the people (who) came through.
"And we even had an Osmond — and I liked him!"While "Idol" thrives on secrecy, it's no secret that David Osmond auditioned for the show in Salt Lake City. And, as is obvious from Cowell's comment, it seems he advanced past the first round of auditions to perform for judges Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and newcomer Kara DioGuardi.
Reportedly, Osmond, 29, the fourth son of Alan Osmond, advanced from the Utah auditions to the Hollywood round of the competition, although Fox doesn't confirm such information before the show airs.
The eighth season of "American Idol" begins on Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. on Fox/Ch. 13. The episode featuring the Salt Lake auditions has not yet been scheduled.
The show continues through May, and Osmond and his wife, Valerie, are expecting their first child in April.
But it wasn't just the guy with the famous last name who impressed Cowell, although the most famous (or is that infamous?) of the "Idol" judges did sound a bit surprised that he liked it as much as he did.
"I thought it would be a bit more serious, to be honest with you," Cowell said, "because I'd only heard about the place; I'd never been there before.
"But I couldn't have been more wrong. It was really, really good fun. And it was one of my favorite cities."