As loyal viewers know, every season of American Idol is different from the previous. Looking back, Simon says the show's fifth season became more of a popularity contest than a talent competition.
"I thought the most talented guy that year was a guy, Chris Daughtry, but the most popular was Taylor Hicks," he says. "Taylor was fine, but I like it to be a talent competition. I don't think the right guy won that year."
Simon says he thinks the sixth season was the weakest of them all. "I remember thinking, 'If this year is not better than last year, I think it's going to be over. I think [people] are going to lose interest,'" he says. "Then, as luck would have it, in my opinion, I think we've got more talent this year than we've ever had on any season."
Now that the field is narrowed down to 11 contestants, Simon says the clear frontrunner is 17-year-old David Archuleta. "But don't rule out Brooke White, David Cook and Jason Castro," he says. "Any one of these guys could win. I think it's going to get very, very interesting."