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American Idol Judge Kara DioGuardi Speaks Out About Ellen Degeneres’ First Week

February 11, 2010 10:00 AM by Nancy Floyd

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American Idol fans finally got a chance to see new judge Ellen Degeneres in action this week on the FOX singing competition. After weeks of celebrity guest judges joining Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi on the panel, Ellen Degeneres filled her spot to critique singers during Hollywood Week. In a new interview, Kara DioGuardi speaks out about how she thinks Ellen is doing, how she compares to former judge Paula Abdul, and those pesky rumors about feuding between Ellen and Simon Cowell

There was a 12 percent increase in viewership of Tuesday night’s episode of American Idol as fans tuned in to witness Ellen Degeneres‘ first night on the judging panel. Critics and viewers are divided on her performance, but fellow judge Kara DioGuardi defends the comedienne saying, ”I think [Ellen] knows more about music than you think she does. When I was sitting next to her, I thought she had a really good handle on whether a contestant had potential—whether they had a star quality. She knew something was off on the vocals or in their performance.”

As for how Ellen came across to viewers, DioGuardi casts some blame on the show’s editing. ”How it’s edited and what you see is very different from my experience,” Kara says. “I remember just thinking she was very funny and critical and had heart…It’s edited in a specific way. It has to be. It has to be about the contestants.”

Fans of the FOX singing competition are no doubt drawing comparisons between Ellen Degeneres and her predecessor, Paula Abdul, but DioGuardi warns American Idol viewers against pitting the two against one another, stating, ”You can’t really compare Paula and Ellen; they’re completely different, and I think they both bring something valuable to the table. And to judge on one person’s show is very difficult to do…It’s something that takes time to get used to, and I think [Ellen] did an incredible job for her first time there.”

As for rumors about an ongoing feud between Ellen Degeneres and British judge Simon Cowell, DioGuardi calls them “ridiculous” and says,  ” I think you have to take any rumor you hear about American Idol with a grain of salt. They’re usually not true…..We are all there to do one thing and that’s to find the greatest contestant—the greatest American Idol winner that we can find. And I know Ellen and Simon both take that seriously.”

Reality TV Magazine is your source for American Idol news and info! For more news, check out SirLinksALot: American Idol or visit our American Idol message boards.

Photo courtesy of FOX

Topics: American Idol, Ellen DeGeneres, FOX Reality TV Shows, Kara DioGuardi |

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