February 23rd, 2010
11:38 AM ET

Ellen and the ladies in 'Idol' spotlight

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Tuesday night will be the first real test of Ellen DeGeneres as an “Idol” judge.

Up until now we have been treated to the edited Ellen, compassionate and injecting just enough funny to break the tension for contestants.

But tonight we will have the first live performances and Ellen unplugged. I’m going to be interested to see how she holds up against Simon, who seems to be counting the days until his exit; Randy, who seems to have only two channels – “Yo, that was hot” and “That was just all right for me”; and Kara, who is trying to replace some of the nurturing we lost with Paula Abdul.

I predict that this year’s competition will come down to a male versus a female in the finals and I am looking forward to seeing what the Top 12 ladies have in store for us tonight.

Join CNN throughout the "American Idol" season as Lisa Respers France blogs live during the performance and result shows.


soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. BLT

    I like Ellen as a judge. Paula NEVER had an opinion of her own. She either parrotted one of the other judges OR told them how "cute" or how much she like their outfit at that particular time. Go Ellen!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. IdolFan

    I really like Ellen. She brings the voice of the common fan to the show., and some good fun. Keep up the great work Ellen!! I personally think she is a huge improvement over Paula. The current four judges are great and it will be interesting to see who replaces Simon. Let's be honest, no one can really replace Simon. He is one in a million. I just hope those nasty rumors of it being Howard Stern are not true. I'm afraid I'd have to give up the show!!

    February 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jerry

    American idol lost me as a viewer whe n they put the queer on the panel. Yes i said queer. It was queer for same sex partners 50 years ago and it still stands today. It was Adam and Eve not Edie and Eve. There is nothing natural about same sex....never has been never will be.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. SammyKitty

    I think Ellen should stick to her talk show – watching her this week has been painful.

    She is flustered, copying everything adding a word or two of her own what the other judges are saying.

    Sorry this year in IDOL is the worst and I am not really watching it – after seeing Ellen doing I guess her thing and Kara who I disliked last year trying to be Paula – all buddy buddy with Simon (Like she could take the place of Paula) you can tell the Show is on its last year –

    The contestants this year are not that talented – Ellen needs some signing classesans music lessons to be able to talk to these contestants not start a sentence and not finish and jump to another (she is clueless)

    Kara you need help – be yourself
    Love Simon and Randy you are the greatest – BAIL OUT WHILE YOU CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ang

    INDEED! GO ELLEN!
    Judges are fine.
    jst the contestants...im waiting to see better performances from each and everyone...kinda disapointing most of them -_-

    February 25, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Fan

    Ellen was put on the show as the judge who represents the people's voice..The other three are greatly connected with the music world. I presonally think she is GREAT and an excellent addition. She adds some flare to the judging portion show. GO ELLEN. YOU ROCK.

    February 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The best critic

    I think Kara was supposed to be the judge with musical talent and knowledge, especially experience in the music industry.

    February 24, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. Str8 Outta Tx

    what if, at least every few episodes, they got a guest judge who can really blow. at least have some musical talent and knowledge. someone who doesnt do much these days. perhaps their next album isnt due for awhile. any suggestions?

    February 24, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. GLENDA

    My husband and I are bailing because of Ellen.

    Yuck!

    February 24, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chop

    Ellen has PMS

    February 24, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lady Di Florida

    I think Ellen is doing a terriffic job. The one they need to replace is Kara-she's just sooo boring & seems soo phony & really doesn't have any personality at all. It seems Simon has mellowed out quite a bit & trying not to be as critical of the singers. He needs to find a happy medium-not to mean, not too nice to keep things interesting. Let's face it, we tune in to hear Simon's remarks & other than Ellen, the rest of the judges I could do without as their comments are useless. To be honest my favorite part of this show is the auditions- I LOVE THE AUDITIONS!!! They should just have a show about that as I bet it would be a must see program & lots of laughs, which is what we need these days.... Jus sayin'..........

    February 24, 2010 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Walker

    Ellen has ruined the show. She is so bland, vanilla and does not add any value or experience from the music industry. She takes on the attitude of the judge next to her and has no opinion. Plus she has a constant down turned smile – even when she is saying something nice – did she suck on a lemon?

    The wife and I are tuning out of Idol for good. Ellen is terrible.

    February 23, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. angie

    i thinlk ellen is great as a talk show host but as as judging singing sorry not her cup of tea i really think they should ozzy ozborn he has an actsent and would be great and he knows music

    February 23, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Music Student

    Agreed, Ellen provides a new perspective on the contestants-that of the music lover, a person who likes music but who doesn't think they know what makes good music. And therefore a person who can give feedback to a performer purely on the basis of how much they enjoyed it, and NOT with the prejudices and predilections music industry execs develop. Think of all the previous Idols whom the judges loved but who ultimately failed when it came to pleasing the public. Ellen is here to prevent that from happening.

    February 23, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. nycwriter

    Ellen is a comedian and this is not a stand up show. She should have never been chosen. She does not know how to judge a singer and I stopped watching since she became part of it. Simon, this what you will of him, is 100% correct. AI needs musis industry professionals. What about a Bette Midler? or Carly Simon? or Carol King? They're no longer in their prime, don't perform much, would have had the time, and be of great help to the contenstants, possibly even more than all the rest, including simon and Ellen!

    February 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  16. John Sakura

    Since when was Paula a musician? Sure she tried to sing but only the young ,visually oriented "listeners" were buying into it. Ellen has just as much credibility but most people know it's not just about musical chops, sadly.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  17. HURLEY

    1. Ellen better be funny because she isnt in the music biz and she cant dance worth shit

    2. Howard Stern sucks and should stick to what he knows best – nothing

    3. The best singers to make it to the top 24 are : CRYSTAL, LILLY, SIOBHAN, and ANDREW GARCIA (loved his version of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" – very clever).

    4. Simon can never be replaced – this will be the last season of AI

    February 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Meg

    The "judges" on American Idol aren't really judges. More of commentators. The whole point of the show is that AMERICA DECIDES. So I think that if the average Jo or Joann is good enough to decide who the winner is, than Ellen is good enough to talk about it on the show.
    PS- The show has ALWAYS been a joke.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Princess

    The show is becoming a joke with different judges all the time. Although i have to say Ellen is really funny. Original judges were the best

    February 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Princess

    Gordon is right. Without out Simon, American Idol can't go on. His mean, but speaks the truth. American Idol will never be the same without him. I will definitely stop watching once he leaves

    February 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Julia, Pacific Palisades CA

    We don't purchase music based on training or experience. We buy based on our opinions of how it makes us feel. That's why there are so many different kinds of music - all of it is good, and all of it rocks SOMEBODY. All it takes to give an opinion about music is being able to hear. She'll be great. Good luck to all of the folks who have made it through and are having jangled nerves right now!

    February 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  22. m

    Is she the best they could come up with?? How sad.. I agree, her comments sound as she has to think about what they told her to say.... Her personality, take a pill and go home...

    February 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Michael

    Blackcurry – There are a number of reasons why everyone takes this show so seriously. First, people seem to need someone to "root" for, like a sports team or player or candidate. Idol gives us a chance to do this. And these people are just regular, everyday people, like you and me. It captures our imagination because it's cool to see someone be a letter carrier or barista one day and making $300k the next by selling their songs online! Also, everyone knows someone like the kids who get up there, everyone can relate. Besides, if we were to admit it, each one of us would kind of like to be up there in their place, but for one reason within or without our control, cannot or are not. So they kind of represent us, in a way. Finally, a number of the unknown people you see up there today are going to be people who are making and singing the soundtrack of our lives in the near future, and perhaps for years to come. So it's kind of like having a window into our future, music wise. It's interesting because it affects all of our lives, even if only the music we're listening to while we're waiting for our Big Mac & fries!

    February 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  24. fan

    Neil Patrick Harris was the best guest judge ever. he should take simons place....

    February 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Nina Martell

    "American Idol" without Paula is just like Good Morning America without Diane Sawyer and Chris Cuomo, a very tedious show!!!!

    February 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Just a Thought

    Love the show, will be sad to see Simon go, and I am very interested to see how Ellen does tonight. Stern, is just a rumor to stir the pot as they say. Fox would never pay the $$ he would require. Not to mention he has a good thing going where hes at – why leave?

    When Simon does go, the shows survival will depend on his replacement I think. If it tanks, time for X-Facter

    February 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Str8 outta TX

    get someone who knows music if not at least talented.
    i'd pay to see some of the judges get up on the stage and perform. that would be some funny sh**

    out

    February 23, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  28. blackcurry

    Why does everybody take this show so seriously?? It's just a popularity contest. Very few of the winners are ever heard from again. Talent has to last more than the few weeks Idol is on. Chris Daughtry didn't win but look at where he is now. I haven't heard an original word from any of the judges for several years now, dawg.

    February 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Sherry

    Howard Ugh!! I lived in New Jersey for 12 years, I never liked the man, didn't think he was funny. In fact I can't understand everyone's attraction to him. He's crude, rude and ignorant to boot, I wouldn't want to see his homely mutt on idol.

    February 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Michael

    Hmmm, comments, opinions, I guess we will have to actually wait and see what transpires – who knows? It's all guesses, conjecture. All of the people can't be right all of the time now, can they? Ellen KNOWS show business, has a really good head on her shoulders, is smart and has a lot of insight. I think she'll be a great judge. She also seems to understand people a bit better than the others, notice? I'll say one thing, if Howard Stern, whom I consider one of the crassist, most gross people on the planet, gets within 100 feet of that Idol judging table, I'll be taping the shows and forwarding through the judging parts, just listening to the singing. Howard Stern is a sexist, in case you hadn't noticed. Who needs that kind of personality on a "family show?"

    February 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Dallas Child

    I love Ellen. And I absolutely believe she won't clash with Simon. They think too much alike. Simon says exactly what Ellen is too compassionate to say in a mean way.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Dani

    My vote to replace Simon is Donny Osmond. He has been in show business for many years, has had his ups and downs in the business and he definately knows the business.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Wendy

    It's pretty sad that Simon is "counting the days until his exit"...that man is getting paid so much to do his job. Plus I read that he and Ellen don't get along and she supposedly gave him crap for being late for one of the shows. If I were new to the show, I wouldn't care if Simon were late, it's his business!

    February 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  34. marilee

    I agree, Howard Stern is gross, not a positive thing, I love the show but would not watch if he is going to be involved, the man has no morals. please choose someone else don't ruin the show.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  35. deborah

    .......i havent a clue about music so sometimes i want to hear more than .....THAT WAS GREAT!

    February 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  36. deborah

    ...a part of me still prefers paula to ellen.....paula at least knew music....
    .

    February 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Mal

    Simon is a great judge but i cant believe they are even concidering HOWARD STERN? REALLY!? american idol is a family show, and he is um not exactly family show material. plus, just cause hes on the radio, doesnt mean he knows squat about music. i've been watching from the beginning this year, and think ellens done a great job so far. its also nice to have comic relief rather than paula, the drunk who always rambled about god knows what. i think the judges mix well together, a lot better than in the past. but i do strongly believe that once simon leaves, the show will lose its following and go down hill.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Teeroy

    Why do you have to be a music industry "expert" to judge singing talent? After all, isn't it mostly regular people like you and me that listen to and purchase the kind of music performed on this show? I've seen a lot of CD's in the bargain bins over the years that have been commercial disasters. Who discovered and produced this music? Uh...I'm afraid the "experts" did.

    I believe any music lover is qualified to judge this show. Those with entertainment backgrounds can focus on different elements of a performance and critique or nurture accordingly. Why would we want four "music-only" judges anyway? Ellen presents an entirely different viewpoint. And, is there anything more difficult to perform in front of an audience on stage than comedy? You can be a so so band and get away with it, but a mediocre comedian? Not likely. She knows how to perform and is extremely talented. Ellen is a valuable asset to Idol.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Omaha Reader

    AI is the singing contest show to choose the best singer. It isn't the show to choose the best judge!!... I only focus on the singing and vote as much as I can to save my fav ones. Who cares about the judges and their comments! I know I don't care...

    February 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  40. delong

    Actually with Ellen having no professional music career, why did FOX choose her as a judge for potential american singing career talent? Would you want a Chef to be a judge for the doctor that will operate on your heart? No... Fox just wants the ratings up so hire the funny woman that has her own show with no musical talent, yes that is just so logical, NOT.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Lia Taylor

    The show was the best when it was just Simon, Paula & Randy the Original group ! Now it's just tossed around!

    February 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Wendy

    The show will die after Simon leaves...that's my prediction. Paula's gone and Simon is moving on to other things, as she has. Ellen is great on her own show, but I'll be interested to see how she acts tonight . As far as the top 24...what a joke! They let so many talented people go!

    February 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Charles

    I think Ellen brings to the table someone who has been in the spotlight and understands the X Factor. Also Howard Stern isnt going to get the gig if you pay attention to the news.

    February 23, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  44. G Funk Era

    For those that bash Howard and want to thwart him being around young women...WAKE UP AMERICA! He is intelligent, funny, is the father of three girls, and has enough common sense to verbally smack you without you even knowing it. He has a musical background and has started numerous careers in the industry (Bon Jovi for one). And he is right...Ellen looked like Mr. Ed in the Covergirl commercials, so don't hate him because he has an opinion. That's what judges do, right?

    February 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Mike Smith

    If Howard is in I am out. He has a place and I enjoy listening in that place but Idol is not it. He has spent a good part of the last nine years trying to dismantle Idol. He hates it and thinks its a joke. Stern will destroy the show

    February 23, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  46. ann

    I think Ellen has consistently shown a mean streak on the show – everything she does is for the punchline at the expense of the contestants. I dread when Simon leaves next year and it's just mean Ellen and drooling over the shirtless boys Kara. Oh and the Dawg, yo.

    February 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Danielle

    Please tell me that the Howard Stern rumor is NOT true! He is a disgusting man that shouldn't be around underage girls!! I will never watch Idol again... if they make the mistake of bringing a person like Stern on board!

    February 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  48. TeeBee

    The minute Howard Stern appears on Idol, will be the minute the show loses me as a viewer.

    February 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  49. jeanne

    Bring on truthful and honest Howard!

    February 23, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  50. wayne

    Gordon; Very well stated. Sebastian; SHE'S not getting into a feud with Howard, HE unleashed a ridiculous list of insults against Ellen. Happy to see that she's taking the diplomatic, but probably the least interesting approach since it would totally be out of the norm for her to stoop to his level of idiocy.

    February 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  51. cleatus

    Howard Stern will eat Ellen for lunch next year.

    February 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Sebastian

    I liked Ellen until I heard about how she's been campaigning against Howard Stern as a replacement for Simon Cowell. As if she has any musical background beyond dancing (badly) on her show. Anyway, I hope she enjoys a feud with Stern which is like trying to get into a painting contest with Da Vinci. He lives for that and has a tendency to eat people alive. Ask Chevy Chase or John DeBella.

    February 23, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  53. MM

    She is terrible and looks out of place on the show! She looks nervous as hell and all her "jokes" are forced. Time to bail on her. Howrd Stern would be much better

    February 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  54. jane

    Gordon is right! Simon is the only real judge. Just look at the results of so many of his predictions. Carrie Underwood is the MOST successful idol ever. And Simon predicted it. Ellen is great...but a judge? Who knew?

    February 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Gail Trotter

    I love Ellen and she is good at everything she does!!! I am very much looking forward to this year!!!

    February 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Gordon Harglerode

    Say what you wish, and you will. There is only one really qualified judge on Idol. Love him, hate him, but you've got to respect him. Simon Cowell.

    February 23, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  57. Head Diva In Charge

    I think Ellen will be great. But for those wanting some real music insight, I have a feeling they will be disappointed, and probably bash her tomorrow. I think Ellen is going to bring the "fans" point of view, kind of like Tarantino but with out the snarky comments (but I love you Quentin)! I am looking forward to seeing Simon butt head with her too – finally, someone who is NOT wasted to go up against the mean one!

    February 23, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |

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