American Idol Apologizes For Calling Louisville Contestant A "Threat"

American Idol is apologizing to a contestant after judges accused him of using threatening language during an audition stop in Louisville, Ky.

american idol photosSee Our American Idol Hall of Fame

When Mark Mudd left the room after being rejected by the judges, he said, "Ya'll take care and be careful." Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul interpreted that as a "threat." Turns out, Mudd was just being polite. "Be careful" is apparently a common Southern colloquialism, similar to "Take care."

American Idol producers posted the following message today on the show's Web site:

"We apologize to any viewers who were offended by the misinterpretation of the contestant’s comment to “be careful” upon completion of his audition in Louisville, KY. Our visits to audition cities are relatively brief and sometimes regional greetings and salutations are lost in translation. We had not heard that phrase from any other contestants during the day, so it took everyone by surprise. We now know better and look forward to visiting Louisville again someday."

Check out the video of Mark Mudd's audition here: