1 of 15
''There's a certain irony for you singing a song about climbing when you actually fell off.'' — to Haeley Vaughn, after her season 9 semifinal rendition of ''The Climb''
2 of 15
''Congratulations for coming back. Having said that, we absolutely made the right decision the first time around by not putting you through — based on that performance. I'm being serious. Because there was nothing — nothing — to take from that. The vocals were weak. The version was weak. You didn't come over as a natural performer, and the truth is, I just don't think your voice is good enough.'' — to Tim Urban, a last-minute substitute in the season 9 semifinals, after his performance of ''Apologize''
Later, after Kara told Tim that ''people [in the room] did stand up for you because you're likable, you're cute, and you're current,'' Simon interrupted by muttering, ''They were trying to leave.''
3 of 15
''When you started to sing, the first thing that went through my mind was you sound like someone who should be singing on a cruise ship. And then halfway through the song, I imagined the ship sinking.'' — to Ashley Hartman, after her season 2 semifinal performance of ''Touch Me in the Morning''
4 of 15
''Let me use a horoscope analogy...a suitcase and plane travel within 24 hours.'' — to Janay Castine, after her season 4 semifinal rendition of ''Dreaming of You''
5 of 15
''You look terrified. And it looks as if you've been shut up in your bedroom for about a month — verging on haunted, pale. You know what I mean? You need some fresh air.'' — to Garrett Haley, after his season 7 semifinal take on ''Breaking Up Is Hard to Do''
6 of 15
''It would be rather like ordering a guard dog for your home and getting delivered a poodle in a leather jacket. It's not the real thing.'' — to Constantine Maroulis, after his Top 11 performance of ''I Think I Love You'' during Season 4
7 of 15
''To be honest with you, it was like there were five of you singing that song, and it got progressively worse, each one. It was all over the place, and the awful thing is that I know the point that you knew as well.... That song, I think, has just killed you.'' — to Paige Miles, who missed every other note of ''Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)'' during season 9's top 11 week
8 of 15
After Paula likened the performance to an Olympian not experiencing his ''golden moment'': ''Dear, dear, dear, dear. Olympics...well, the two people who came on before you ran the 100 meters in 10 seconds. You ran it in five minutes. That's the difference.'' — to Jim Verraros, after his version of ''Easy'' in top 10 week of season 1
9 of 15
''I think the little girl's face says it all.'' — gesturing to a sobbing Ashley Ferl after Sanjaya Malakar's season 6 cover of ''You Really Got Me''
10 of 15
''You sounded like Dolly Parton on helium.'' — to Kristy Lee Cook, after her top 12 performance of ''Eight Days a Week'' during season 7
11 of 15
''You are a beautiful girl, but you're ugly when you perform.'' — to Heather Piccinini, after her season 3 semifinal cover of ''New Attitude''
12 of 15
''If you hear a scream from a hotel room in Las Vegas, that's where Barry Manilow's watching this show.... I'm sort of with Randy [in agreeing that the performance was entertaining], but horror films entertain me. You know, it's a different kind of entertainment.'' — to Bobby Bennett, after his season 5 semifinal cover of ''Copacabana''
13 of 15
''Can I tell you the problem? Do you know what I said to Paula halfway through the song? I don't know your name... [to Paula's reply that her name is Haley] What's her surname?'' — to Haley Scarnato, who had just finished her season 6 semifinal take on ''If My Heart Had Wings,'' which incidentally marked her third straight week of live performances in front of Simon
14 of 15
''I've got to talk about this Jessica Simpson hairstyle. I mean, seriously, that has got to go!'' — to Bucky Covington, after his Top 12 week cover of ''Superstition'' in Season 5
15 of 15
''What that reminded me of when I was sitting here was like, instead of being on the stage of American Idol, you're at a local rodeo, you've just been crowned the prom queen, and it was like the song before you lasso a bull. I'm being serious.... It's everything, Ashley. It's just...sweet. Like Paula used to be many, many years ago.'' — to Ashley Thomas after her season 3 semifinal performance of ''Crazy''