It's not a total exaggeration, however: Rainbow-haired American Idol season 1 runner-up Nikki McKibbin did just tell Us Weekly that Simon Cowell's constant criticism, back in the day when she was competing against Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, eroded her esteem to the point where she became increasingly dependent on booze and drugs.
"I came out of Idol with a lack of self-confidence," she explained. "I had never been told I wasn't good enough. Having to hear it for so many weeks from Simon Cowell killed me inside. I couldn't get the sh*t he had said to me out of my head...It drove me deeper into my depression. I wouldn't say that this was Simon's fault. It just added to the addict that I already was."
Nikki further revealed: "We were heavily chaperoned [on the show], but I would buy vodka and sneak it into the refrigerator on the bottom floor. If I wasn't too exhausted, I'd have one or two drinks."
Wow, so Simon actually has the power to drive women to substance abuse? Well, that would certainly explain some of Paula Abdul's quirky behavior since season 1...
Hopefully the show will do more for Nikki than it did for Idol alum Jessica Sierra, who relapsed and ended up back in court soon after her stint on Celebrity Rehab season 1 ended...
- Simon Cowell
- Nikki McKibbin
- Kelly Clarkson
- Justin Guarini