Simon Cowell ruffles some feathers.
Since his days as the resident curmudgeon on American Idol, Simom Cowell has been known to TV viewers as the music industry's most blunt and controversial reality star. He's famously flung insults at both the contestants (and their perceived level of talent) and his fellow judges on every series where he's been an on-camera participant, and last night's episode of America's Got Talent was no different. In fact, former Spice Girl Mel B was so incensed by his remarks that she stormed off the stage during a live TV broadcast.
To properly tell the story is to give it a bit of context in terms of what came before. During a sequence where an illusionist was attempting to perform a trick from his act, technical difficulties led to an incomplete stunt. Host Tyra Banks came to his defense when the crowd started to boo at him, telling them that is was not the performer's fault that the trick went awry and for everyone to basically simmer down. When she threw the conversation to Cowell, asking him to back her up based on his experience doing live television, that's where things got more than a little testy.
"I kind of imagine this would be like Mel B's wedding night," Cowell quipped. "A lot of anticipation, not much promise or delivery." After some audible intakes of breath from everyone on the judge's panel, Mel B responded immediately, rising from her seat and dumping her cup of water on Cowell's shirt before storming off the stage, enraged beyond belief. Watch the video clip of the incident, courtesy of TMZ, below.
The joke, while not necessarily the meanest thing Cowell has ever uttered in his broadcast career, hit too close to home for Mel B. She's currently going through a very painful breakup from her estranged husband, Stephen Belafonte, with accusations that he beat her and exploited her sexually having been reported by TMZ in the past as well. That sort of behavior from Belafonte has reportedly been going on since 2007, when he would "beat me down to let me know he was in charge." Scary stuff and not necessarily the place for some reality TV fodder.