Simon Cowell: Chris Richardson Comment Apt, Reaction Misunderstood

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Let's give Simon Cowell a break, shall we?

The guy may have an acid tongue from time to time on American Idol, but he certainly didn't mean an ounce of disrespect to anyone involved in the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy from earlier this week.

Go, Didi!

Here's what happened:

On Wednesday's show, Cowell's critique of a song by Chris Richardson â€" in which Cowell accused Richardson of sounding "nasal-y" â€" was cut short when Richardson, after talking about his sound, offered a quick tribute to this week's campus event.

"My heart and prayers go out to Virginia Tech," said Richardson.

"I have a lot of friends over there. Be strong."

The camera then caught Cowell turning to fellow judge Paula Abdul and looking annoyed, replete with an eye roll â€" from there, the judge found himself on the receiving end of some heated criticism from bloggers and TV critics across the country.

This morning, Cowell appeared on the Ryan Seacrest KIIS-FM radio show, with the host saying:

"We've got to clear this up. There are these people on the Internet trying to make something of this story, and let's just be honest, no human being would be that disrespectful to anybody involved in that awful tragedy."

"No, of course not," said Cowell. "And the irony was that we discussed this before the show and wondered, What do you do in a situation like this when something terrible happens? Do you ignore it?"

The decision was made to have Seacrest send out thoughts and prayers from everyone at Idol to begin the show.

As for the criticism he's received, Cowell referred to it as "this crazy story that appeared that I rolled my eyes disrespectfully at Chris because he made the comment ... The truth was is that I had switched off at that point. I was ... saying to Paula, "What does he mean he was singing nasal-y on purpose? I didn't understand what he was saying."

Simon went on to say that the possible boy toy of Lauren Conrad was right to acknowledge the horrific events because he's from that area of the country.

We now hope this non-story is over with. And viewers can focus on what's truly important about the show: the hair of Sanjaya Malakar.

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]