Dan Snierson
July 25, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

On American Idol, Simon Cowell is a bully who’s never at a loss for words, but on the July 13 debut of Fox’s Japanese-game-show spoof Banzai, he was the one left speechless. The victimizer: ”Lady One Question,” a reporter who poses a single query — and doesn’t say another word. (Viewers bet on ”how long will it take for celebrity people to feel such shame that they finally walk away.”) Cowell took her bait, discussing the differences between American Idol and Britain’s Pop Idol. When he finished, LOQ kept waiting, microphone extended. ”That’s it,” he summed up. ”Do you want to ask me something else?” Crickets. ”And, umm,” he fumbled, ”that’s the difference between the two shows.” Tumbleweeds. ”Are you mad at me?” The silent treatment raged on. Finally, a handler led away a perfectly perplexed Cowell. Simon says: 77 seconds of total gawkwardness!

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