Ellen DeGeneres hit a high note with critics -- and fans -- for her American Idol debut Tuesday.
Said Entertainment Weekly: "Not only did the comedian/talk-show host treat the Paula Abdul Memorial Chair with a level of dignity and purpose that it had never before experienced, but she wasn't afraid to dole out tough criticism when necessary."
New York Daily News observed that the difference between DeGeneres, 52, and Simon Cowell "became clear" on Tuesday's show.
To one singer, Cowell, 50, sniped, "I hated everything about that." To another, he yawned, "Wrong, wrong, wrong."
DeGeneres' worst remarks? "I'm tired as it is - that almost put me out"; "It was crazy - in a bad way."
MTV said DeGeneres "provided exactly what the panel lacked in the past - a strong, confident voice of reason with the right combination of humor and useful advice."
Said E! News: "She fit right in. Not only did the show wisely not dwell on her too much, leaving the emphasis on the terrifying 'sudden death' round of Hollywood week, but she wasn't too funny, either."
Fans sang her praises as well. On a fan site, one person wrote that DeGeneres was "a breath of fresh air" and "everything I expected and then some."
Tell Us: Do you think Ellen made a good Idol judge?