October 31st, 2011
05:54 PM ET
It's not a secret that Ellen DeGeneres wasn't cut out for giving blunt critiques on Fox's "American Idol," but in a new interview with Parade magazine, she says there was more to her decision to leave the show.
DeGeneres lasted as an "Idol" judge for only one season, partly because as a self-described sensitive person, she likes to be "around kind, gentle people," she tells Parade.
"It was hard for me to judge people [on 'Idol'] and sometimes hurt their feelings," DeGeneres says.
And then to add to her reservations, there was behind-the scenes dirt. "It was disappointing to hear things about the kids, the drama going on," she says. "Some of them are not as grateful as you would expect. All of a sudden they have fan mail, millions of people saying they're great, and some of them just stop appreciating it."
DeGeneres' professional plate is still filled in the absence of "Idol," between her daytime talk show, her record label, and her new book, "Seriously...I'm Kidding." The secret to her success, she says, is being open about her sexuality and being nothing other than her true self.
“I think I’m just very real, and people sense that,” she tells Parade. “They know everything about me. This is a platform that’s probably more powerful than politics, and I think if you have a loud voice, you should use it for good.”
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