''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''
''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''
''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
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
''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''
''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
''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''