"American Idol" in-house mentor Jimmy Iovine is back this season with some definite opinions and a sharper tongue than ever -- but that doesn't mean the contestants always listen to what he has to say.
While the famed record producer has become downright snarky for Season 11, contestants like Phillip Phillips have come off as indifferent to some of his critiques.
Last week, Iovine had harsh words for guitar-playing Phillips, saying, "It's very difficult to push yourself when everyone's telling you you're so great."
Iovine complained that Phillips was getting complacent, adding, "Right now, what Philip needs is to be pushed so he can go out and be the best version of himself that he can be… If he stands still, there's a very good possibility that other contestants will come up and pass him."
Phillips' reaction to Jimmy's statements?
He didn't seem to care. Phillips told host Ryan Seacrest, "I'm just being myself, dude…I'm not trying to walk around stage and touch people's hands and stuff. That's just not me. I'm just having fun, man. I'm not trying to be somebody else. I'm just trying to play music."
Later, when Phillips realized his flippant 'tude may have come off as arrogant, he posted a message on his Facebook page, thanking fans for voting for him and adding, "i heard that some people took my comment the wrong way but i thought jimmy said if i dont move around i would get passed and all i was meaning that im not the artist who runs around stage touching peoples hands and sings to them, thats just not me…"
Okay, so we can forgive Phillip Phillips for his literal misunderstanding, but he's not the first "Idol" contestant to come off as disrespectful to Jimmy.
Last season during Iovine's first stint as an "American Idol" mentor, contestant Casey Abrams blatantly disregarded the Interscope chairman's strongly heeded suggestion to sing the Phil Collins song "In the Air Tonight," instead going with the quirky Nat King Cole song, "Nature Boy."
Iovine slammed the move, saying "Casey chose not to take the help offered to him…he better be right." Turns out Abrams was right; he even received a standing O that night.
Ditto for metal head James Durbin, who insisted on singing Sammy Hagar's bland movie song "Heavy Metal" against Jimmy's wishes.
Iovine condemned the hook-free song choice and told Durbin he needed to be careful, warning him, "That ain't being careful."
But Durbin told Iovine flat out, "This is what I'm doing. I know what's best for myself as an artist."
Durbin even baited Iovine, claiming it's impossible to hear the potential of a number one hit song just by hearing it on the piano, to which Iovine scoffed, "Who can't? You think I'm an accident? I've heard a song before it was on the piano and knew it was a hit."
As for Phillip Phillips, he may have apologized for his misunderstanding over Jimmy's advice, but this rebel offered no apologies over his wardrobe choices. When "Idol" style mentor Tommy Hilfiger advised Phillips to change up his bland wardrobe color scheme ("Gray is the worst color to wear on stage because it's very drab, it's very boring, very dull," the fashion icon warned), Phillips came out on stage wearing gray on gray.
"American Idol" airs on Wednesday and Thursday at 8/7c on FOX.
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