Battle Of the 'Idol' Judges

Last night, "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell stood his ground like never before, as the panel argued back and forth about who should stay and who should go.

Now Simon is speaking out, telling "Extra" that the battle lines are drawn.

"This year there was definitely two judging panels," Simon said. "There was me, always right, and there was Randy and Paula. They're like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum!"

So why is Simon so passionate this year? He says it all goes back to Taylor Hicks.

"The trouble is when you put someone like that in the show because they're very popular it becomes a popularity competition and not a talent competition," Simon blasts. "I think once again history will prove that I was right."

So who are this year's favorites?

There's David, the 16-year-old who was able to move a backup singer to tears. Then there's Syesha, who was able to deliver a stellar performance of "Chain of Fools" despite a mean case of laryngitis.

And after the show was criticized for last year's crop of talent, "Idol" champ and Grammy winner Carrie Underwood told "Extra" just wait!

"It's not on a decline," she insists. "I don't at all! [They are] just finding their groove for the year."