"He wasn't great tonight. I think he might go," Cowell toldEntertainment Tonight following last night's Idol taping, while also revealing that Hernandez's fellow finalist Kristy Lee Cook might find herself on the chopping block.
Hernandez sang "I Saw Her Standing There" during last night's performance episode. Randy Jackson thought it was "a little too overdone" and fellow judge Paula Abdul agreed the 24-year-old from Glendale, AZ "overdid it a little bit." Not surprisingly, Cowell was more concise in his criticism of Hernandez.
"David no, no, no. I thought it was corny verging on desperate to be honest with you," said Cowell after Hernandez's performance. "I didn't think it was a particularly strong performance."
Cook sang "Eight Days a Week" during the performance episode. It was also panned by the judges -- including the normal not-so-critical Abdul, who commented she "didn't get" the country twist the 24-year-old from Selma, OR put on the song.
"Kristy I thought it was horrendous actually. You sounded like Dolly Parton on helium," Cowell told Cook. "It was a very brave but probably foolish thing to do. That song just doesn't work in that style. It was like being at some ghastly country fair or something."
During his interview, Cowell also commented on David Archuleta, whom he previously characterized as the "one to beat." During his performance of "We Can Work It Out" last night, Archuleta stumbled over the lyrics and lacked the bravado he had in earlier rounds.
"Not so great tonight. Not his best night," Cowell told Entertainment Tonight about Archuleta. "But he'll be fine."
Cowell was also pleased to see Carly Smithson deliver her best performance of the competition, although -- similar to how he referred to her during the episode broadcast -- he once again called her "the Irish girl" when talking to Entertainment Tonight.
Overall, Cowell said last night's Top 12 performances were a mix.
"Judging on tonight -- six good, six not so good," he told Entertainment Tonight.