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Randy Jackson says he still hasn’t adjusted Paula Abdul’s absence on American Idol.

"We look down the table sometimes and think, 'Where's Paula,'" Jackson, 53, told reporters during a Friday conference call. "It takes a little getting used to and we're really sad about that, but welcoming Ellen [DeGeneres] to the fold... She's funny, she's charismatic, she's really cool."

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"I think we’re going to have a very funny, interesting season ahead of us," Jackson continued of the show, which kicks off its 9th season Tuesday. "There’s gonna be a lot of laughs."

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"I think there's some really talented girls that showed up this time," he said.

Jackson dodged questions about Abdul appearing as a judge on X Factor, the UK British reality show Cowell is leaving Idol to launch.

"I know she's going to be back on something in a huge way because she's mad talented," Jackson hinted. "The thing I always say about this genre, especially in the music entertainment side, is expect the unexpected. You never know!"