Simon Says!

Apr. 2 2008, Published 7:05 a.m. ET

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Our man on the American Idol set says that Simon Cowell seemed agitated tonight and that, even by his standards, he was short tempered. He took it out on the contestants, too, contradicting almost every nice thing the other judges had to say about them.

When Simon takes a swipe at Brooke White, consistently one of his favorites, the others are definitely in for a rough ride. "I disagree with Paula. It was lacking emotion," he moaned about her stab at Jolene. He even criticized her backing band saying, "I thought all of you looked odd together as a group. It all looked strange."

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Is it possible that Simon slightly overestimates the lasting impact that American Idol performances have on us? Ramiele probably wasn't too disappointed when he said: "Look, we are not going to remember this in 10 years' time are we?". But he added one of his favorite put downs as well. "It was very reminiscent of something you would hear on a cruise ship," he said.

It sounds like Jason Castro's winning streak is finished in Simon's book. Simon had high praise for several of his performances, but this week he took his second pasting in a row.

The judge even disagreed with this week's mentor, the legendary Dolly Parton, who thought her Travelin' Thru was perfect for Jason. "Well this is the point where I lose my season pass to Dollywood, because I didn’t like that at all," he said.

"It sounded actually like the same song from the time before. I didn’t think you sang it particularly well. I don’t think this music suits you particularly well."

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Kristy Lee Cook's attempts were brushed off as "pleasant but forgettable" and he wasn't too taken with Carly's performance either.

For yet another week (the third), he laid into the Irish girl's wardrobe. "I also think that you have to have a word with whoever is dressing you at the moment. I think at this stage, without being rude, you have to start looking more like a star and I don’t see that progression at the moment." Rude, Simon? You? Never!

Now its a brave woman who takes on I Will Always Love You on Idol, so Syesha Mercado had to be bracing herself for the worst. Even so, this dig must have hit her hard. "You forget what a brilliant song writer Dolly Parton is," he said. "I almost wish you hadn’t got it in a strange way. The first part was good but the second part unfortunately paled by comparison to the Whitney version."

Future American Idol contestants take note: Simon Cowell has something against songs about birds. Two weeks ago he slammed Carly Smithson, saying: "You sing a song about a blackbird? I don't think that was a very smart thing to do." And this week he seemed to think David Cook had made the best of a bad lot. "If you could make a song about sparrows good, which you did, congratulations," he said.


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