Considering who Howard Stern is, and considering his new job consists of critiquing people’s talents, it’s not really a shock that he’s getting snarky. In fact, I’ve been waiting for it since his first night on the show.
Apparently Stern didn’t take kindly to Howie Mandel taking the nice-guy approach with a contestant on Tuesday night’s episode and wasn’t afraid to call him out on it. When “Big Barry” butchered a version of Nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good”, Mandel gave his critique with some niceties.
“Barry, I’m going to be totally honest with you. You’re not a good singer. But you’re an amazing character, and you’ve got this God-given stature and sound,” Mandel said. “I think you’re an incredible novelty act that people would come and see and pay for.”
Stern immediately ripped into Mandel by way of a passive-aggressive comment aimed at Big Barry.
“You know, the Howie filibuster is getting annoying to me actually,” Stern said. “I gotta tell you, Big Barry, this isn’t about you. This is about Howie and how he treats the show. This is about the apology you owe Flo Jo’s daughter [Mary Joyner], Andrew DeLeon — all the people who could have gotten through instead of Big Barry. It’s offensive.”
It almost seemed like Mandel wanted to push Big Barry through just to irritate the other two judges, who both voted to cast him out. Sharon Osbourne actually reached over and pushed Mandel’s buzzer for him before getting in the middle of their bickering to get them to stop.
Similar episodes of “American Idol” come to mind, when the judges were split two to one on whether or not to send someone through and it became something of a matter of principle rather than one of actual talent. We’ll see if Howie continues to rub Stern the wrong way; for now, watch the video of the episode and tell us what you think.