There have been few harsher critics of Simon Cowell's influence on pop than Roger Daltrey, who last year declared TV talent contests a "joke", saying: "The music they make on the shows is absolute tripe."
But the prospect of a large pay cheque can apparently quieten righteous indignation. The makers of American Idol, the highest-rated show in the US, have revealed to Rolling Stone that Daltrey applied for a job on the judging panel but was rejected after an audition.
Among the reasons he failed to impress was his uninspiring wardrobe. Daltrey looked "very formal, his hair was cut, he looked like a regular guy," said Mike Darnell, a producer. Unable to twirl his mic-stand The Who frontman apparently lost his rock 'n' roll charisma.
The revelation leaves Daltrey open to allegations of hypocrisy. "We really need to break away from The X Factor and American Idol," he told music students last year. "The Rolling Stones wouldn't have made it past the audition stage."
Aerosmith's Steve Tyler beat Daltrey to the job.