When the X Factor judges visited Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, they probably expected easy banter and softball questions from the ABC late night host. But Jimmy’s no Steve Jones. As soon as Simon, Paula, Nicole and L.A. sat down on his couch, Jimmy revealed that he’s still “very angry” about last week’s surprise elimination of the “supernaturally talented” Rachel Crow.

Jimmy’s definitely not alone. Which is why I so enjoyed watching him take turns grilling Nicole, Paula and L.A. on their decisions during the final voting.

First, Kimmel went after L.A., who said during judging that as “a man of principle” he had to stick by his mentee, Marcus Canty. “Now, to me, a man of principle would pick the person he thought was the better singer,” said Jimmy, who claimed Marcus “isn’t even in the same ballpark” as Rachel. But instead, “L.A. picks his own guy,” Jimmy lamented. “Principle schmiciple!” 

Jimmy’s next target was Nicole, whose vote led to the deadlock that sent Rachel home.

“I think you were traumatized by Dancing with the Stars,” Jimmy playfully jabbed at her. “If you could, you’d make everybody win this.” (Interesting theory, Jimmy. Maybe her time as a judge on the no-criticism-zone that is The Sing-Off has something to do with it, too?)

“Stupid America makes the dumbest decisions,” said Jimmy, and didn’t vote for Rachel because she had “an off night. … It was a travesty.”

Even though he couldn’t get any of the judges to admit they’d made the wrong call, it was very entertaining, and more than a little heartening, to see Jimmy get so passionate about his favorite X Factor contestant, and to actually call out the judges for (what he saw as) their bad decisions.

And speaking of calling out: The best part of the five-person interview came when Jimmy flat-out told Abdul about her groups, “Both of yours deserved to go.” (And this included an unconscious insult, because remember how she started out with four groups?) A faux-offended Abdul stormed off the stage, but only for a minute.

Watch the rest of the awesomely uncomfortable interview. Jimmy directly asks Simon and Paula if anything has ever happened between them “sexually,” and then accuses L.A. of championing “the weakest contestants.” Go, Jimmy, go!

“I am mad at you! You destroyed a 13-year-old girl for your own gain!” Jimmy practically screamed at Reid, then poked some fun at him with a little X Factor merchandising parody called “L.A. Reid’s Chair Dancin’ DVD.”

The insult-ridden interview couldn’t end without Jimmy throwing one last barb at X Factor host Steve Jones: “What’s the deal with [him]? Can we send him back to England?”

The other judges called Jimmy “mean” for his comments more than a few times, which is probably why mean old Simon just smiled and said, “I like you more.”

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.