It’s Time to Face the Music: Simon Cowell Finally Sings!

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

Simon Cowell has made a career out of trashing pitchy singers, but on Thursday's "X Factor" episode, he finally dared to sing himself…and he sounded like one of those sat-upon cats he's always blathering about.

On Thursday, 56-year-old wannabe crooner Russ Pouliot, who claimed he was The Next Frank Sinatra (and bafflingly claimed he'd been taking private vocal lessons for four years), attempted to audition in Denver with "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You." But there wasn't much to love about his performance, which according to Simon sounded like the garbled groans of a drowning victim.

Judge Demi Lovato had an even crueler comment for Russ. "I feel like, had you had a British accent, you would sound like Simon if he sang!" she joked.

At that point, judge Kelly Rowland hopped up onstage, snatched the microphone from Russ, and accomplished something that Britney Spears, Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, Sharon Osbourne, and every other "X Factor"/"Idol"/"Got Talent" co-star was never able to do in the 12 years that Simon has been judging talent competitions. Kelly somehow convinced Simon to sing on TV.

Well, apparently, those who can't sing, judge — as evidenced by the eardrum-upsetting video above. But Simon did do a pretty mean impression of Russ. (Literally. It was kind of mean. But it was also quite accurate.) >Simon is usually very rough on awful auditioners, but of course he passed his own audition with flying colors. "I should sign myself!" he beamed.

However, after the show, a chagrined Simon seemed a little less proud of his impromptu performance, telling the cameras, "Hang on a minute! Can I just be clear? I didn't sing. I impersonated a singer. That is not singing."

Demi teased, "Oh, I think it's really charming that he wants to be modest about his incredible vocal," while Kelly added, "I knew that voice was always there!"

So…do you think Simon has the X factor?

Related links:

Exclusive Simon Cowell Q&A
Experts debate the "X Factor" premiere
More about "The X Factor"
Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, Tumblr