July 25, 2008 / 12:34 AM / 10 years ago

"Idol's" Simon Cowell voted top reality TV villain

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Simon Cowell’s scathing critiques of “American Idol” contestants made him the favorite reality TV villain in America, but cohort Paula Abdul was declared the worst reality TV judge in a poll released on Thursday.

American Idol judges (from L-R) Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell sit at the "Idol Gives Back" show at the Kodak theatre in Hollywood, California April 6, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Ratings juggernaut “American Idol” itself was judged the best reality show on U.S. television, ranked No. 1 by 33 percent of viewers taking part in an AOL Television survey that drew more than 1.3 million votes.

Cowell drew 39 percent of the vote for best reality TV villain.

The Fox network talent competition also took top place for the “hottest hook-up,” with 44 percent casting their vote for a liaison between 2008 “Idol” winner David Cook and former contestant Kimberly Caldwell, who were photographed together on a date.

Abdul, known for her emotional outbursts and as the kindest of the three judges on the “American Idol” panel, was chosen worst reality judge by 42 percent of voters.

Only 14 percent of survey respondents said they would audition for “American Idol,” which started tryouts for its eighth season last week.

“The Amazing Race” was the reality show most people polled wanted to take part in, garnering 32 percent of votes.

Long-running dating show “The Bachelor” appears to have lost the hearts of American viewers after 12 seasons. It placed first in the “SO over” category, with 43 percent of voters.

But rapper Flavor Flav got some of the biggest thumbs down. His “Flavor of Love” dating show was voted the season’s worst reality program (34 percent), the show that people would least like to go on (57 percent), and the show with the scariest star (44 percent).

“Flavor of Love” aired for three seasons on VH1 before ending its run in May.

The AOL Television poll on the best and worst of reality television in America was conducted July 9-23 and attracted 1,340,208 votes.


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