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Ellen DeGeneres AI

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Ellen DeGeneres is opening up about her new role as a judge on Fox’s hit show - American Idol. The latest season of AI, set to premier Tuesday, January 12th, will feature Ellen replacing Paula Abdul as one of the judges.

When asked about fellow judge Simon Cowell, Ellen had the following to say: “We both like each other and accept one another,” DeGeneres tells Wall Street Journal. “At the same time I think he’s mean and I think he says things in an insensitive way and I don’t think that’s the way to get a point across. I’ve called him on it to his face. I’ll do the same thing to him (on Idol).”

Ellen goes on to discuss the type of judge she aims to be.  The talk show host promises to be opinionated, but can’t promise she’ll be as warm and fuzzy as her predecessor Paula.  “I don’t know if I’ll be as nurturing as she is. She always found a positive thing to say instead of attacking,” says Ellen. “I’ll probably try to be somewhat encouraging. … But I’ll be honest. I don’t think it helps anybody to be encouraged and not told the truth.”

The first couple of weeks of AI will feature guest judges. Ellen will come on the show alongside Simon, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi later on in the season.

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