Ellen DeGeneres gets a glowing review for her work on American Idol from Alessandra Stanley. "Midway through her first season, Ms. DeGeneres has all but hijacked the show, playing second fiddle to no one, not even the overbearing Mr. Cowell," she writes in the New York Times. All in all, "there is a power shift playing out onstage."
DeGeneres is funny and friendly, and though she has no music industry background, she does her homework on contestants. The "judge known for her impish, childlike wonder is increasingly the only grown-up in the room," writes Stanley. DeGeneres is winning over the under-30 crowd, and she's already won their parents with her daytime talk show. All of this makes her the "leading candidate for Oprah Winfrey's throne."