WTF, America's Got Talent Judge Simon Cowell Hasn't Owned A Phone In Years?

simon cowell america's got talent season 15 premiere

While the fall TV season is looking pretty erratic, thanks to all the delays that have happened, at least viewers are guaranteed the comforts of such summer TV regulars as America's Got Talent on NBC. With its new judges lineup, the unpredictable competition series kicked off Season 15 on Tuesday night, with more than a few performances geared to make the judges and audience members stand up and cheer. (Including those twins!) Though perhaps Simon Cowell himself deserves a special Golden Buzzer award for apparently going more than three years without owning a phone. (Not a talent meant for the stage, but still.)

Given the general lack of leisurely things to do in the outside world in recent months, many people across the country and the world at large have been glued to their phones more than ever. But it appears Simon Cowell is most certainly not among that crowd, as he hasn't carried a phone around in years. Here, he explained to Entertainment Tonight his decision to shed himself of mobile devices:

It's very simple. It means you don't wake up to, like, 50 text messages you can't reply to. And that's what happened one morning -- I woke up and I've got 52 unread messages. And I thought, even if I reply to every one of those, I'm going to get another replying back, and then I'm going to get more that day. And I realized it was actually stopping me from working or living properly, so I just turned it off and I went a month, three months, then a year, then two years, then three years. And I love it.

Likely, nothing that Simon Cowell said there came across as a completely foreign concept to anyone, since keeping up with texts and social media messages is a headache unto itself for many people. And there's no doubt that Simon Cowell would be getting many more text messages than the average person, so it's no surprise that he preferred to just cut the problem off at the source rather than continue haranguing himself over impromptu responses.

After all, we're talking about Simon Cowell, who has spent many years of his entertainment career on the cusp of being a reality TV villain, given his often unbridled criticisms delivered on American Idol, X Factor and more. If someone hitting the wrong key is enough to draw Cowell's ire, I can't imagine the kind of language that would come out of his mouth upon waking up to 52 text messages. Especially if each of those messages was a video of someone singing in the wrong key.

Continuing his reasoning for not owning a phone anymore, Simon Cowell hearkens back to the kinds of arguments people starting making in the early of mobile tech's widespread popularity. In his words:

Even if you limit it, you know, you don't want your telephone to rule your life. And I find ... when you're in a meeting or you're having a conversation or you're at dinner and someone's reading whatever they're reading on their phone, it's like we're not engaging anymore.

This is usually where someone would cue up images of people in the '40s and '50s sitting on a bus or in a waiting room, and everyone is reading newspapers and magazines, as opposed to peering at screens. People are generally going to be social or not, regardless of what they're holding in their hands at the time, but the seemingly endless number of tasks that phones can perform these days certainly doesn't help. Especially if everyone is needlessly trying to send Simon Cowell texts.

If for no other reason, Simon Cowell should keep a phone around simply to give himself an excuse for how to quickly exit an unwarranted conversation with someone. Oh wait, he would just tell that person to bugger off without the need for trickery.

Speaking of trickery, check out one of the acts from America's Got Talent's season premiere, in which a mentalist contestant seemingly gives Simon Cowell the power to control Howie Mandel's mind.

America's Got Talent airs Tuesday nights on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET, but don't expect to get any text message reminders from a certain judge. While waiting for more new episodes, check out our Summer 2020 TV schedule to see what other new and returning shows will be popping up soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.