There's one thing you can count on when Ellen DeGeneres takes over judging duties
at American Idol
"I'm not going to be mean," she tells On Air With Ryan Seacrest
. "I hate it when Simon's that mean."
Hardly a surprise from the talk-show host who's famous for her placid demeanor, but DeGeneres does admit she lost her cool when she first was asked to be the replacement judge for Paula Abdul
"I was like, 'Are you kdding me? I love that show. I absolutely would give anything to be a part of that,'" she says.
DeGeneres, who says she was "shocked" to hear of Abdul's departure, says she hopes there aren't any hard feelings from her predecessor.
"I hope Paula's OK with it," she says. "I don't want anyone to think I took Paula's job away."
She also addressed how she'd be like Abdul -- and what she'll be doing differently.
"Paula was a huge part of the show, and that's a role that needs to be filled by someone in a totally different way," DeGeneres says.
Later, she adds: "I think you can be honest in a pretty kind way. I hope to be that compassionate person. That's the one thing Paula did bring, that compassion."
To that end, she promises to confront infamously acerbic fellow judge Simon Cowell
when his words get too nasty.
"I'll tell him the same thing I tell him when he's on my show, that he's mean," she says.
And though critics may say that DeGeneres -- with a background in stand-up comedy -- doesn't have the chops to judge a musical competition, she says her role will be to represent the who really count -- the average TV viewer.
"I'm just a fan like everybody else," she says. "Ultimately, it doesn't come down to some expert in the music industry, it comes down to the person at home that says, 'That's the person I relate to and whose records I'm going to buy.' I hope to be that voice."
And, oh yeah, she'll also bring that famous DeGeneres wit: "I'm going to have fun with it," she says.
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