Simon Cowell courtesy Fox Simon Cowell courtesy Fox

Gee, ya think? But hey, he said it, not me. Surveying the remaining contenders for the winding-down season of American Idol, the man who put the judge in judgmental tells Entertainment Weekly, "We're doing as well as we are doing with not a great cast at the moment, to be honest with you. They're not the best bunch of kids we've ever had." Well, yeah, especially now that my Haley is gone.

That said, Simon says the race is "as close as it's been in any season," and culls his fave five down to Blake, Chris R., Jordin, LaKisha and Melinda (ouch, Phil and... what's-his-face).