Simon Cowell's Villa Trashed by 'X Factor' Contestants

"American Idol" judge Simon Cowell says contestants on his British TV show "The X Factor" (headed for U.S. TV in 2011) trashed his rented Spanish villa after a night of drinking, but one contestant says it never happened.

When the music mogul had the talent show hopefuls in his $20,000-a-night Marbella villa (during a section of the series when contestants are mentored at judges' homes), the singers allegedly caused considerable damage to the property, reports The Mirror, including soiling a very expensive Persian rug and consuming Cowell's collection of vintage alcohol after a late-night swim.

But the story of the trashing is nothing but rubbish, says one contestant.
Cameron Neilson, a member of the British boy group Princes and Rogues, claimed that they didn't even stay in the same place as the music mogul. "It was all untrue. I'd love to say I partied all night in Simon Cowell's house, but I didn't," the 25-year-old told the Daily Record. "We were up at 6 a.m. and were auditioning, practicing or being filmed until 1 a.m. And we didn't stay at the villa, we stayed at a hotel." (Which isn't saying much, apparently -- in July, riot police reportedly were called as the hopefuls rampaged through a hotel after a booze binge, with naked dancing and property damage.)

"Any damage will have to be paid out of their first royalty check if they make it," Cowell said about his home.

Whether Cowell's place was trashed, and regardless of if he can afford to replace the expensive items, there is a certain etiquette one should follow as a houseguest, whether you're staying with a multimillionaire celebrity (who employs a cleaning crew) or with your Uncle Joe (who has a sponge). Here are six tips for an overnight guest:

1. Help out

Offer to help with meal preparation, setting the table or doing the dishes, and actually do something useful, even if the host says, "No, that's OK." The host should not wait on you hand and foot during your entire stay.

2. Keep your space tidy

Make your bed each morning, and leave the room as neat as it was on the first day that you arrived. This includes putting your items in your suitcase or any closet or drawer space provided, and not leaving any items in the walkway or on top of tables and dressers.

3. Don't leave the bathroom messy

Hang your towels or take them to your room and fold them across the foot of your bed. Wipe the sink and shower, making sure that they are clear of toothpaste droppings and hairs. Close the lid on the toilet after each use, and don't hesitate to use a toilet brush and air freshener if the need arises.

4. Keep the noise level down at all times

Don't crank up the music or the TV, even if you're a musician. In fact, ask permission before you get started with either. Take phone calls in your room or outdoors, if you must, but keep the calls to a minimum.

5. If you break it, pay for it

Accidents do happen. If you accidentally break a vase, dishware or a door handle, offer to pay for it. If you think the item is too expensive for you to replace, leave some monetary amount anyway, and follow up with another gift, even if it's flowers.

6. Send a thank you note

As a follow up to the gift that you brought when you first arrived, send a thank you note after your departure.

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