The next stop on Simon's backstage tour is Ryan Seacrest's dressing room. "Ryan is on the second floor because he sort of doesn't like to mix with anyone on the show," Simon jokes.
As the host, Ryan is one of the first people to know which contestant is going home. This information is so top secret, he says he can't even share it with Simon. He'll have to wait and find out with the rest of America.
Typically, Simon says he doesn't see fellow judge Paula Abdul until seconds before the show starts. "[We] just like to keep a distance from each other," he says. "From her perspective, as much as mine."
Though some may say their onset banter is scripted, Simon says the tense moments between him, Ryan and Paula are real. "They used to be much more kind of grovel-ly toward me, but as the show has gotten more successful, they've gotten more confident," he says. "And [they] probably dislike me more now than they did seven years ago."