Simon 'Meaner Than I Thought': Ellen

New judge DeGeneres doesn't hold back on American Idol
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2010 10:12 PM CST
A screen grab from an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on   (
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(Newser) – Ellen DeGeneres flashed the humor many expected of her in tonight’s screen debut as an American Idol judge—and beforehand got off a shot at departing fellow judge Simon Cowell, saying the acerbic Brit is “actually meaner than I thought.” That tidbit comes via a video on the Fox show’s site; the daytime talk-show host succeeded in “establishing what seems like a good-natured, jokey tension between the two new co-workers,” Gil Kaufman writes for MTV.

“I don’t know how you feel right now,” DeGeneres told the 181 contestants in the Los Angeles audience. “When people say, ‘What do you know about music?’ I’ll tell you what I do know: I do know what it’s like to stand on a stage and try to please an entire roomful of people. ... That is a hard thing to do.”

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