Simon, Paula, Randy. Each of the American Idol judges has an idiosyncratic approach to critiquing the contestants. Let's start with Randy. Randy -- Randy likes to remind both the contestants and the audience of his stature as a producer/musician. Expertise is important, but in telling the contestant that they weren't as good as Mariah, Whitney et al. all of whom he's played with, the critique tends to be more about Randy than the contestant. Paula -- Paula gives compliments, lots of compliments. But because her need to be liked is so palpable, she seems to give to get. This only serves to further discount her already discounted opinion -- because she's a woman we expect her to say something nice. Not to mention her often muddled thoughts.