LOS ANGELES, April 29 (UPI) -- "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell has dismissed Elton John's claim the show is racist, citing apathy as the cause of a popular black contestant's exit.
Cowell said the elimination of Jennifer Hudson -- the leading favorite before last week's public vote booted her -- actually may reinvigorate the series, BBC reported Thursday.
"There are a lot of passive viewers who complain about the results but don't pick up the phone or text a message," Cowell said.
"We needed a shake-up and I think it will change ... my gut feeling is we are going to attract 5 (million to) 6 million new voters and the better singers now have a chance."
More than 20 million votes were registered last week, with the results finding three black women receiving the fewest votes, prompting John's comments.