Finally! Ellen DeGeneres is set to make her much anticipated judging debut Tuesday on Hollywood Week of season 9 of the hit Fox TV show American Idol.
The daytime chat show host called into Ryan Seacrest’s KIIS FM show Tuesday morning to dish about the upcoming show, how she fits in with the rest of the judges, how she’s getting ready for her judging gig and what we can expect from this season.
Filling us in on the talent we can look forward to Ellen says there’s a couple of good rockers, and a “great eclectic group of people”. She said that she found the most surprising thing about sitting in as a judge is how little experience some of the Idol wannabes have, saying that it was surprising to her that some of them have never actually even auditioned before, in front of anyone, let alone four famous stars, in front of TV cameras.
Ellen said that she feels compassion for those starting out, drawing on her own experience of auditioning and dealing with rejection. She said, “You can’t teach them experience, but hopefully the people we put through learn very quickly.” And shared that, “It’s tough to be critical. I was judged very harshly before.” Going on to explain her judging style, “I tend to be compassionate, but at the same time very, very honest. I try to cushion it with humor.”
Ellen said that the four judges complement each other very well as, “All four of us are completely different in style.” And when it comes to her relationship with Simon Cowell? Ellen diplomatically said, “I think he’s a funny guy and I think he’s a smart guy. He’s going to be a challenge, he’s Simon and I’m me and we’re completely different people. It’s going to be good TV.”
One thing Ellen doesn’t sound too sure of though is the grueling schedule of filming the live show twice weekly on top of her already busy work commitments with her hit daytime show. But she’s doing her best to prepare, saying, “I’m working out, eating right and getting ready for it.” Sharing that she’s even cut out one of her favorite sins – sugar!
But Ellen is clearly psyched about landing her “dream gig” and looking forward to the weeks ahead, promising, “It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a challenge!”
You can be the judge yourself when it comes to Ellen’s judging debut. Tune into American Idol Tuesday, on Fox 8/7c