The $162,000 gift that judge Simon Cowell gave to the family of a cancer-stricken 3-year-old must have drained him of every last drop of generosity. The Idol judge leapt on everything during this week’s show—from the dancing to the lighting—savaging all but two of the remaining 11 Idol contestants.

Simon complained that Amanda Overmyer‘s rocker routine was starting to wear thin. "It’s just the same thing week after week and I think that Paula to a point is right. I think one week you have to do what David did with the Lionel Richie song and actually do something which is a bit of a surprise," he snarled. "Otherwise, you are in danger of becoming a bit boring."

But Amanda should think twice before following Chikezie’s example and reaching for an instrument to spice up her act. "I thought it started off okay, and then you played the harmonica which was literally atrocious," Simon told him. "It wasn’t as good as last week and I actually thought it was gimmicky."

Is Simon trying to push some work in the direction of brain-bending friend Paul McKenna? He told Kristy Lee Cook: "I think you need something like hypnosis, because the problem is that you’re not a good performer." It wasn’t all bad for Kristy, though. "The last two seconds were okay," he said.

American Idol is no place to rest on your laurels. If Brooke White was riding high after the praise she got for last week’s “Let It Be,” Simon brought her back down to Earth with a bang. "I thought the performance was terrible," he said. "From the horrible dancing, the absolute lack of conviction. It was wet, it was forgettable." Brooke’s look, he said, was simply yawn-inducing. "I just knew, Brooke, that when you were choosing that song, that you would be dressed in yellow and the lighting would be yellow."

Simon wiped the smile off David Cook‘s face pretty quickly, too. "I don’t think it was as good as you thought it was, actually. You looked a bit smug throughout and I thought the vocoder in the middle was just stupid."

Meanwhile, he thought Jason Castro‘s grin was the only thing he had going for him. "Where you’re lucky is that this is a TV show and not a radio show, because your face sold that," he said. "As Paula said, and I like you a lot, is that you’re very charming and your not obnoxious and your goofiness is what makes it work."

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