July 30th, 2010
04:05 PM ET
Paige Miles understands how difficult it was for Ellen DeGeneres to dole out criticism to “American Idol” contestants.
“I know it was hard for her to be hard on us because she knows what it’s like to be on the other side, to be booed and to be cheered on to an encore,” said Miles, who finished 11th last season on “Idol.”
“She knows what it is like to be on both ends of the spectrum, so it was hard to chew us up like that," Miles said. "I think that was probably one of the biggest parts that she wasn’t quite ready for.”
In announcing that she was leaving, DeGeneres noted that it was difficult for her "to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings.” DeGeneres also noted the time commitment and busy schedule she endured as “Idol” judge and host of the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
“She would leave right from our show and she would come to us,” Miles said. “She would be moving all day long.”
Miles, who is currently in Los Angeles recording her debut album, said that contestants took DeGeneres' critiques very seriously because of her experience on stage.
“For us, she was a really big part of that panel,” Miles said. “She was really the voice of the performer. She knows what it’s like to be up there on stage.”
Miles said she’s been inundated with e-mails and text messages about reports that Kara DioGuardi is also leaving, and that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will be leading the show. To Miles, Lopez would be a great addition, being that she is "one of the most amazing triple threats in the business."
It’s a unique experience, Miles added, to have been a contestant on the last season where popular judge Simon Cowell participated, prior to what appears to be a major overhaul of the show. And as for talk that her season was lackluster, Miles said producers should look to even more adjustments to kick things up a notch.
“I think song choice has a lot to do with that,” Miles said. By the time contestants got to Billboard week, "we ended up falling back [on] songs that the contestants have done prior, and I think that needs to change."
“A lot of these kids now making it on to the show are musicians and songwriters, so how about letting them perform some of their own music,” she added. “That would be a great change.”
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