Ellen DeGeneres Defends Idol Judging Skills

Entertainment Sep. 22, 2009 AT 9:05AM
Ellen DeGeneres Defends Idol Judging Skills Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

On her talk show Tuesday, Ellen DeGeneres addressed critics who say she isn't qualified to be an American Idol judge.

"Apparently, there's a lot of debate going on right now whether I'm qualified or not to be the new judge on American Idol," she said. "... I know there is a lot chatter. I'll tell you right now, how I know I'm going to be a great judge ... I've spent my whole life being judged. So I know what it's like."

The openly gay talk show host, 51, continued, "So I will be kind. I will be compassionate. I will be empathetic, and I will be truthful. I will be an honest judge without being mean.

"But the things that people are saying..." she went on. "I thought America had moved past this. First, we have the first African American President.  We've sworn in our first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. I think American Idol is ready for their first blonde judge ... I do."

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As the crowd applauded, she added, "Not a big deal. I'm very excited to be on the show. I will tell you that right now. I just continue to be excited every single day.

She said she knew "people would have opinions" when she announced she was joining the show.

"I did not want to know what they were because, why should I take that stuff in?" she went on. "I try not to read anything ... nothing. I don't even read the back of a cereal box.

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She then talked about former judge Paula Abdul spoofing her during VH1's Divas Live opener last week.

"I have nothing but love for you, too, Paula, but I want my wig back," she teased. "I really do. Give it back."

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DeGeneres' only gripe about Abdul's impersonation?

She never taps her butt.

"I don't know what this dance move was..." DeGeneres said. "She did like a little pat of my butt. I've never patted my butt like that. Today I might try it ... it's a new move ... she's choreographer and I'm going to take that in."

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