Barry Manilow turned down the opportunity to judge the current finalists on American Idol, because he couldn't bear the thought of crushing the dreams of young hopefuls.

The MANDY singer will be seen coaching the remaining seven contestants tonight (20APR04), but refused to sit on the panel alongside show regulars Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson to judge the wannabes.

He says, "I've been working with these kids for two weeks now because this judge thing is not for me.

"I have gotten the worst reviews in the whole world for the last 30 years. I know what it feels like to be on the other side so I am not about to tell them how lousy they are. That's not my thing. All I can do is tell them how great they are and maybe get them to be better than they think they can be.

"I got there and I did an extreme makeover of all of my songs just for them, for each one of them. I think they've all got their strengths."

20/04/2004 21:08