Described as the “ultimate New Yorker with an inflated sense of self-entitlement,” Ian Benardo made a splash auditioning for American Idol. This was definitely the most memorable audition of season six, but not for any good reasons. Watch the audition below to relive this intense moment.
Ian Benardo Had Some Harsh Words For The Judges On ‘American Idol’
Wearing a shirt with his own name on it, Ian was hard to miss. He previously auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance and the judges were less than thrilled with his performance and attitude. He claimed that people come up to him on the street to tell him that his dancing was “fantastic.” Ian walked into the audition room with confidence and had a witty remark when Simon Cowell asked him why he was there. “To try out for American Idol” he said. Ian boasted about how winning the show would be a nice thing to add to his resume which includes other accolades like “superstar, dancer/singer.” Draped around his neck was a piece of chinchilla fur that he wore to “show the world how wealthy I could be.”
He sang “Gloria” by Laura Branigan in a performance that was not superstar level. The judges were laughing while he sang in his thick New York accent. “This was a very hammy bad audition for you as something you aspire to be which obviously isn’t a singer. It’s not funny, you’re not good at anything…” Simon said before Ian interrupted him. “I’m not going to have a British person tell me what an American Idol is.” Simon proceeded to call it “rubbish.” Ian questioned Simon’s use of the word rubbish and asked him if he had a working Visa to be there. “As a tax-paying American in my country I want to see your working Visa because I don’t think you’re legally allowed to be here” Ian said to Simon.
Ian Was Escorted Out Of The Audition By Security
Simon said that he was bored as the argument was winding down. “I’m bored with you. I don’t think it’s fair that you’re critiquing me like this” Ian remarked. He continued to rant but it wasn’t long before security made sure he left the audition room. “You’re not even American and you’re in my country and you’re going to tell me what an American Idol is?” he shaded Simon one last time before dropping a few expletives and leaving. After speaking with Ryan Seacrest, Ian called Simon a “moron” for kicking him out of the audition. Ian also said he was going to call National Geographic “to let them know that the dodo bird is not extinct, it’s in there and his name is Simon Cowell.”
“I’m going to be buying my own ticket to Hollywood first class because I have the money to do that,” he said when Ryan asked him how it went. “On every single show we need a British a**hole to judge Americans, I’m sick of it. Paula Abdul didn’t even talk on my behalf, she’s sitting there like she’s in the middle of world war 80” Ian said. He dropped a few more expletives before finally leaving the building for good.
Where Is Ian After ‘American Idol’?
After his audition, Ian was brought back to the finale and had some choice words for Simon before the producers cut to commercial. He filed a $300 million lawsuit against American Idol in 2010 claiming that the show caused him “emotional distress and loss of employment opportunities through their handling of the situation.”
He was also featured on an episode of The Millionaire Matchmaker in 2014. More recently, after hearing the news of Simon’s electric bike incident that required him to get surgery, Ian Benardo fan pages posted about it on Instagram. They posted a screenshot of an article and wrote “this is karma.” It is not clear if this is Ian’s real account or not.
It definitely seems like the Ian and Simon have not mended fences since his American Idol audition.