‘American Idol’ Contestant Michael Simeon Sues Idol Show For ‘Blowing Out Eardrum’

American Idol winners go on to great careers, but the contestants who aren’t winners often disappear into thin air as far as music fans are concerned. Idol contestant Michael Simeon was cut after making it to the top 24 in 2014, but for him, not winning is the least of his worries.

Simeon had high hopes when he entered American Idol, and got some encouraging comments from American Idol judges along the way. In Nashville, the young singer scooped one of the coveted golden tickets to Hollywood, and was one of the last 12 male singers before finally getting cut.

He even got a chance to serenade judge Jennifer Lopez and finished his Idol season by slow dancing with Lopez, according to local news outlet Oxford Stories. Lopez gave Simeon some great “national exposure” as adoring fans watched the two of them melt the American Idol audience with their romantic dance together.

Jennifer Lopez slow danced with American Idol near winner Michael Simeon
[Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for LARAS]

That’s a great result for anyone, but now, the electrical engineering major at the University of Mississippi has come out with a shocking revelation about what actually happened on American Idol that year.

It turns out that Simeon may not have ended up outside the American Idol winners’ circle because of lack of talent. According to TMZ, Michael claims that a horrible thing happened to him near the end of his Idol quest, and it was entirely the fault of the Idol management and staff, if his allegations are true.

Simeon “got an earful” at Idol, and it wasn’t just comments from the judges that gave him that earful. He also sustained an ear injury that “screwed up his hearing so much it all but ruined his music career.”

The story goes that Michael was fitted for the usual performer’s earpiece during filming of American Idol episodes, and he knew right away there was something terribly wrong. As soon as the gadget went into his ear, Simeon experienced “immediate, excruciating pain.” As one of the American Idol winner hopefuls trying to toe the line and do things right during the competition, Michael didn’t know what to do, but he couldn’t stand the pain.

He asked the audiologist for help, even “pleaded” for the specialist to take the device out of his ear. She did remove the earpiece, but “Simeon claims she yanked it out of his ear with such ferocity, it took out a portion of his eardrum.” The pain worsened to the point that he was “writhing in pain” but there was no treatment, no hospital visit, and no help. Michael claims that the producers sent him to “a room” and left him there “for five agonizing hours.”

Finally, he got some medical help and was “treated for tympanoplasty,” but Simeon says the damage he endured as an American Idol contestant wrecked his musical ability and he “hasn’t performed at nearly the same level ever since.” Tympanoplasty is the medical term for surgery to “reconstruct a perforated tympanic membrane (eardrum) or the small bones of the middle ear.”

That sounds painful!

Ever since, Michael’s attempt to become an American Idol winner, he’s been suffering the outfall of that night. He’s still making music, and keeps up his website, Michaelsimeonmusic.com, but he’s struggling to get songs out there.

Simeon’s decided to take action, and he’s suing American Idol for blowing out his ear. There’s no word yet on exactly how much Michael is “gunning for,” but considering the seriousness of the problem and the high-profile of the show, it’s on the cards that he wants a pile of money.

Stay tuned for updates on this developing situation of an American contestant suing the show for what might turn out to be some serious money.

[Featured Image by Erika Goldring/Getty Images]