Over the past eight seasons of "American Idol," Simon Cowell has been an endless fount of witticisms, put-downs and downright bizarre metaphors (to ginger-haired troubadour John Stevens, in season three: "You and Latin music go together like chocolate ice cream and an onion"). He's crushed dreams, broken egos and — in at least one instance that we can remember — suggested a contestant get a job hooking down on the docks.
Needless to say, we've enjoyed every minute of it. Charming, delightfully cheeky, alarmingly spiteful but always honest in his assessments, Cowell was the gift that just kept on giving. Now, as he embarks on his ninth — and, sadly, last — season behind the judges' table, we decided it was time to say, "Thanks for the memories." So we've compiled a list of his finest "Idol" moments: his meanest critiques, his most nonsensical assessments and his most hilarious put-downs.
And, to be honest, we're sure there are a few amazing moments we've forgotten, so let us know any we've missed in the comments below. On with the acrimony!
To season-three semifinalist Ashley Thomas: "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."
To season-six wannabe Kenneth Swale: "You look a little odd, your dancing is terrible, the singing was horrendous, and you look like one of those creatures hat live in the jungle with the massive eyes. What are they called? Bush babies."
To season-six semifinalist Haley Scarnato: "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 season-five semifinalist Bobby Bennett: "If you hear a scream from a hotel room in Las Vegas, that's where Barry Manilow's watching this show. ... Horror films entertain me. You know, it's a different kind of entertainment."
To season-seven auditioner Ashley Lawing: "I'm going to steal your dog."
To season-four contestant Constantine Maroulis: "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 season-six auditioner Jennifer Chapton: "Why don't you get a job down in the port?"
Did we miss any of Simon's best moments? Let us know below, or upload a video to Your.MTV.com!
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