By People Staff
April 17, 2008 12:00 AM
Kevin Winter/Getty

Simon Cowell isn’t afraid of showing his true colors to millions as a judge on American Idol each week and now he’s suggesting the show’s contestants do the same.

“They are giving very safe answers to questions, making safe song selections,” he said in a recent interview with Variety. “We are not getting a sense of who they are.”

When asked by trade magazine to pinpoint the collective flaw in the show’s season seven cast, Cowell supplied a telling one-word answer: “Personality.”

Cowell also offered a straightforward explanation as to why Aussie heartthrob Michael Johns was cut from the show last week.

“You cannot deliver an uninspired performance at the top of the show,” Cowell said. “And you can’t be up there imitating another singer.”

Johns picked Aerosmith‘s “Dream On” for inspirations song week, but Cowell made it clear that a title that contains the word “dream” does not make a song inspirational. –Caris DavisPhotos: Kevin Winter/Getty