Simon Cowell Dishes on Blake, Jordin, American Idol Finale

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Before American Idol fans hear the soothing voices of Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks tonight, let's listen to the cranky judge everyone loves to hate.

What does Simon Cowell have to say about this week's season finale, along with the futures of various past and present Idols?

American Idol Top Nine

On Finale Predictions
"I think they will both chose their favorite song from what they've done over the past 11 weeks â€" and I'm hoping [Blake Lewis] will do the Bon Jovi song because I thought it was his best performance. And I don't know what Jordin will do."

On Fighting with Ryan Seacrest
"It's rather like having a silly little dog who wants to jump up on your lap and you just swat the dog off. Occasionally in a very stern voice you have to say 'no.' And that's how I deal with Ryan."

On Melinda's Next Stop
"I don't think she should try and compete with too many of the R&B artists out there at the moment. I think she's more of a throwback to people like Gladys Knight and Tina Turner. And I think [Melinda Doolittle] should play to her strengths."

On Contestants Talking Back
"I encourage it. I don't think they do it enough because I think they all think they're going to be voted off if they're rude to me. I think it's the opposite. I think the more rude they are to me, the more votes they'll get. I think off camera they're going completely nuts complaining about me. Then on camera they're just smiling and I don't understand that. I think it should be two-way. If I'm rude to them, they're more than entitled to be rude to me back."

On Sanjaya Malakar Fever
"I would never want to be in a situation where we cast the 12 as just normal people because I think it would be boring. The panel is wacky enough and therefore I think the contestants should be a bit strange as well. And I thought the whole Sanjaya Malakar thing was hysterical. I'm happy now because he's out. I don't think I'd be happy if he was in the finals, so I can now be quite smug about it."

On Kelly Clarkson's New Record
Kelly Clarkson is not an artist who's in it for the money. She has a lot of integrity and this is a record she wanted to make. And I admire her for that. ... It's not as commercial as her last record, but any Kelly Clarkson record at the moment is a pretty good record compared to the competition because she's an incredible artist.

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]
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