Carly Smithson on 'American Idol' – “It’s Not a Place for a Snowflake”

Emma Saletta - Author

May 21 2023, Published 11:57 a.m. ET

Carly Smithson performs onstage in 2016
Source: Getty Images

Singer and former American Idol contestant Carly Smithson wasn’t afraid to be candid on Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” regarding the show today, and how different it is from when she was competing. She has continued to participate in the series over the years and confirmed during her “Ask Me Anything” session that she will be at the Season 21 finale.

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Placing sixth on the seventh season of American Idol, the judges while she competed on the show were Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. She called out one of those judges in particular for reasons that may surprise longtime fans.

With that in mind, let’s look at just what she thinks makes American Idol so different from when she was a contestant.

Carly Smithson has strong opinions about the judging on ‘American Idol’.

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During her “Ask Me Anything” session in May of 2023, one of her fans asked if the singer thinks any of the current judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, or Luke Bryan, should be replaced, and without officially answering the question directly, she expressed her love for Simon.

“I miss Simon to be honest,” she admitted. “I was told terrible things by Simon but it prepared me for the industry ahead. It’s not a place for a snowflake.”

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She also brought up the fact that each of the judges are musicians themselves at risk of alienating fans, but that Simon had “nothing to lose,” but not before saying, “Our world is too sensitive nowadays.”

Carly Smithson wasn’t surprised to be eliminated from ‘American Idol’.

American Idol Season 7 finalists Michael Johns, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook and Syesha Mercado in 2008
Source: Getty Images

American Idol Season 7 finalists Michael Johns, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook and Syesha Mercado in 2008

Despite a fan on “Ask Me Anything” believing that Carly was robbed, the rock singer discussed the reason why she wasn’t surprised to be voted off earlier than fans expected.

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“I sang a song questioning Jesus,” she joked. “It was controversial so I’m not surprised I was voted off.”

The song she’s referring to is “Superstar” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. She performed the song during the Top 6 show, and was eliminated the following week.

Carly then confirmed that despite choosing a different song to sing for that episode, it was ultimately Andrew himself who chose “Superstar" for her.

“He later apologized but you can’t reverse the outcome," she said on Reddit.

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After her elimination, Carly Smithson went on to be successful.

David Cook and Carly Smithson perform onstage in 2008
Source: Getty Images

David Cook and Carly Smithson perform onstage in 2008

Leaving the show with her head held high, Carly went on to join the rock band We Are the Fallen with former Evanescence members Ben Moody, John LeCompt, and Rocky Gray. They released their album "Tear the World Down" in 2010, and despite the throwback photo of the band Carly posted on her Instagram in 2021, there has been no confirmation on when the band will release another album.

She also maintains a close friendship with fellow Season 7 contestant Brooke White, and even told Reddit users that their daughters are friends as well.

Even though her opinions are strong regarding the situation, she still told Reddit users that her time on idol was “a gift.”

The finale of American Idol Season 21 airs on May 21, 2023 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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