Carly Simon has more than a passing interest in this season’s “American Idol” and leaves no mystery about who’s her favorite remaining finalist — Brooke White.
Simon was tipped to turn on the television at her home in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., the night White won over the judges by performing her hit song “You’re So Vain” during 1970s theme week.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God, this girl is so talented and she sings the song so much better than I ever did or ever could,”’ said Simon, interviewed during a rehearsal break with her band at a Manhattan studio. “I was so flattered that she chose the song and ... more than impressed. I think she should win.”
Simon was preparing for a showcase performance of songs from her new bossa-nova flavored album, “This Kind of Love,” her first album of original new songs in eight years, which was released Tuesday.
The 62-year-old singer confesses that when she watches “Idol” her motherly instincts take over and she just wants to protect the young singers from what she sees as the show’s cruelest part — and it’s not the comments by judge Simon Cowell whom she likes.
“One thing I don’t like about the show is that it turns truly sadistic when the person is voted off and they have to sing while they’re crying,” Simon said. “I just want to go up .... and carry them off and say, ‘It’s OK, sweetheart, come with me.’ ... I don’t know how the panel can stand that cruelty. ... Doesn’t that seem like being thrown to the lions?”
With her legendary stage fright, Simon admits she couldn’t have gone far on “Idol” if she had to perform live before a TV audience in the tens of millions. And she doubts that the other noted singer-songwriters of her generation — Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell and ex-husband James Taylor — could have gone far because they all had distinctive but untrained voices.