Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert says American Idol audiences "will definitely miss" judge Simon Cowell, who announced this week that the current season would be his last.
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"The contestants will miss out on, like, really honest criticism," Lambert, 27, says on an upcoming episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, People reports. "Sometimes it can be personal, and I know other contestants took it to heart sometimes and got really stressed out about what he would say. [But] I think that that's important to making you a better performer."
However, Lambert —whose appearance and performance on Winfrey's show airs Tuesday — doesn't think Cowell's absence will hurt the show's ratings. "Ultimately, after the first couple of weeks of auditions, the audience tunes in every week for the contestants ... Of course it's great to hear ... what Simon's going to say. But we tune in to hear the contestants blossom or not."