Ryan Ambushes Simon as the Competition Heats Up
May 16, 2006

It's the biggest "American Idol" so far, as the final three contestants sing to survive, and only "Extra's" Terri Seymour got Sinister Simon's prediction about the huge showdown.

"They're going to be absolutely petrified when they walk out onto that stage, and I mean petrified," Cowell revealed. "I can't wait."

Only our Terri Seymour was with Mr. Mean moments after Monday night's "Tonight Show," where he declared Taylor Hicks the "Idol" to beat. "I'm going to say he's the favorite at the moment," Simon spilled to Leno.

But what would a Simon outing be without a swipe at the host with the most, Ryan Seacrest? "This guy would marry himself," Judge Dread said in disgust, before Jay revealed his own surprise for Simon -- Ryan Seacrest, who quickly walked onto the stage.

While Ryan caught Simon off guard, Judge Dread recovered nicely after the show. And Terri was there to see if Ryan's surprise visit hit a sweet or sour note with Mr. Mean. "I was happy to give him a bit of airtime, absolutely," Simon joked.

"I think Jay was concerned that the segment might sink," Ryan revealed. "So he called, and he said, ‘Would you mind ambushing him?' I said, ‘Well, I don't want to take away from the attention.' Yes, I will. I'd be happy to.'"

So what does Jay Leno have to say about all the trouble he's been stirring up? "I'm merely a conduit." And what about Paula and Ryan not speaking for 2 weeks because of his antics? "You should be thanking me; you see that was just a joke."

No joking, however, from Monday night's "Tonight Show" guest, musician John Mayer. Mayer also picked Taylor to take it all home. "I think Taylor, believe it or not, because I think sometimes he's a little shlocky," Mayer revealed. "I think he has what it takes to make a lot of records for a long time."

Legendary music mogul Clive Davis knows a thing or two about putting out records, and this week Clive steps in to coach the "Idols." "Song choice is very critical," Clive emphasized.

Davis picked quite a selection for the final three. Katharine will tackle R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly," Elliott will cover Journey's "Open Arms" and Taylor will take on Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark."

"I think if anyone tries to predict at this point who will win or should win based on past performances will or should win, they're wrong," Davis said. "This is the moment of truth!"

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