Ellen DeGeneres dishes on 'Idol' behind-the-scenes
October 31st, 2011
05:54 PM ET

Ellen DeGeneres dishes on 'Idol' behind-the-scenes

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.”

soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Derek

    Yes it cracks me up the way these conservative idiots have to first say how they disapprove of a lifestyle, like anyone gives a rats rear, then go on to compliment the person. That just shows how phony they are. And then there are those that don't like her but feel compelled enough to come on here and leave a comment, like anyone cares about that either.

    These boards are stupid and just forums for whack jobs to rant. Kind of like a homeless person screaming on a corner, they try to get lots of attention but no one really cares what they have to say.

    November 2, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • S***Disturber

      So, since you're commenting in this forum, what does that make you?

      November 3, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. "ellen" show

    she's "real" when the cameras are on her... it's all an act... she's a horrible, bitter, mean person in real life... how do i know? work with her and you will see....

    November 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Max

      Interesting... yet your IP address says you don't live in California (or new york for that matter) have never lived in California and you've probably never been to California. Yet you worked with her... right!

      November 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Max

      Oh, and you're breaking your nondisclosure contract which extends past employment on of all places the CNN Entertainment section online. Really – we are supposed to believe you?

      November 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lisa

    @nattyblue – thanks for the laugh. That was great!

    November 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. zendude

    From what I hear Ellen is actually a nightmare to work for and with and is never happy or satisfied and completely unpredictable. People are constantly afraid for their jobs and this fake persona she wants to sell is as far from real as it gets.

    November 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      From what you hear? So, you're just being a nosey and bored gossip who actually has zero evidence of any of this? Got it.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • John W.

      Leaving a nasty judgmental comment like this... and calling yourself zendude? Huh?

      November 2, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Suedehead

    To the commenter who wrote "I don't like her because of her lifestyle," I'm curious what lifestyle you're referring to. I can only imagine that you mean her lifestyle of being a super rich TV star.

    November 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. the_dude

    I don't like her because of her lifestyle.

    November 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ieat

    I'll never understand why people don't like her simply because of her lifestyle. She's real, genuine and nice. What more can you ask from a person?

    November 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff

    @Ellen Dance like a duck – You are truly an idiot. People who have to pull the race card on EVERYTHING make me sick. Don't watch the Ellen show please, she doesn't like you either.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ellen dance like a duck, pathetic

    Ellen needs to shut up and be grateful that at her age she still have a talk show. I never liked her , she is so pathetic when she dances, only white people will like her stupid dances.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • JV

      Poor baby, do you need a nap? Here's the amazing part of freedom of choice..You don't like Ellen that is fine you don't have to watch, listen, or be affected by her. Yet you found it interesting enough to click on the story then take the time to comment.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Only white people don't have to worry about how well or how horrible they dance, we have everything else going for us

      November 1, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. moon627

    i remember when Ellen first came on as a standup comediene – very funny. she's come a long way baby ! love her 🙂

    November 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kindasorta

    How in the world did this woman get a job other than sorting clothes in a laundry?

    November 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenVegas

      Because she has more talent in her pinky finger than you do in your entire body...?

      November 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mjinmd

    I was really bummed when Ellen did not return to Idol. I truly appreciated her honesty with the contestants.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. citizenUSA

    Please help get "Buy American" off the ground.

    November 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DEBBIE

    LOVE LOVE LOVE ELLEN – and, yes, honesty and openness are the best policies.

    November 1, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. She's better than Oprah

    I don't approve of her gay lifestyle and I disagree with her liberal politics...BUT I do respect Ellen and think she's kind & genuine. She's generous & sincere, too.

    November 1, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Greggy V.

      Don't worry! I don't approve your values and conservative stance......BUT I do respect Ellen and think she's kind & genuine. She's generous & sincere, too.

      November 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • klukas

      don't you worry greggy v. we know you have no values which comes from your liberial stance.....

      November 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • GeorgeB

      Why be so judgemental re: approving or disapproving of her lifestyle. Enjoy what she has to offer and if you are feeling judgemental why, just keep that to yourself, please.

      November 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • NattyBlue

      It seems odd that some people find it necessary to make judgments about others and let everyone know what those judgments are before saying something nice. Let me try... I don't approve of Rick Perry's ultra-conservative views or the fact that–even tho he's a freakin' idiot–he keeps getting elected as Texas governor, but he's kind of nice looking for a middle-aged guy.

      November 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Conservatives are 100% without fail all: racist, arrogant, cheapskates who never tip, cruel to animals, wife beaters, thieves, liars and flatulent. Not really, but I'm being just as accurate as klukas.

      November 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darth Cheney

      Who cares whether you "approve" of someone else's lifestyle? You're in no position to approve or disapprove.

      November 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • bitnar

      Thank you NattyBlue, you made my day!

      November 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sylvia Botwin

      Very condescending. Typical conservative neocon.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard T

      What business is it of yours? Those who live in glass houses should not be pitching any stones-

      November 2, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  16. bill

    It's Ann Coulter in 10 years!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  17. carib1

    Island boys love Ellen

    November 1, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  18. Brittinea

    I love her!

    October 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  19. poralpunk


    October 31, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |

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