Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Ellen DeGeneres praised for American Idol debut


Ellen DeGeneres makes her American Idol debut.

US critics have praised chat show host Ellen DeGeneres' debut as a judge on American Idol.

The 52-year-old joined Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi on the panel during the final Hollywood rounds of the competition.

The New York Times said she was "witty both in her embraces and her take-downs". The Los Angeles Times praised her "calm demeanour and deadpan wit".

DeGeneres was given the job last year after singer Paula Abdul quit the show.

Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres
DeGeneres replaced outgoing judge Paula Abdul

MTV said the star "provided exactly what the panel lacked in the past - a strong, confident voice of reason with the right combination of humour and useful advice".

Music magazine Billboard added that DeGeneres brought "a healthy dose of honest critiques and well-timed punchlines".

Fans divided

Reaction was generally positive from fans who posted on internet message boards after the show aired in the US on Tuesday.

On the American Idol website, one fan said DeGeneres was "a breath of fresh air" and "everything I expected and then some".

But not everyone was convinced. Another fan wrote: "I am pretty serious about my music and she just isn't cutting it for me."

Another posted: "Go back to your day job. How can you sit between real experts and pretend you know what you are doing?"

When it was announced the comedienne would be the new judge in September, fans were divided.

I do know what it's like to stand on stage and try to please an entire room full of people
Ellen DeGeneres to contestants

Some complained she was an inappropriate replacement for Abdul because of her lack of musical experience.

But DeGeneres told the wannabe singers at the auditions she was qualified for the job because she knew "what it's like to stand on stage and try and please an entire room full of people".

While the comedian joked about some performances - including telling one contestant he "scared" her and advising a barefoot woman to wear shoes on stage because Hollywood was "a filthy town" - she did not hold back in criticising others.

A tired DeGeneres told one hopeful his performance was so boring it "almost put me right out".

The series will be the last with Simon Cowell on the panel after he announced last month he was quitting the show to judge and executive produce a US version of The X Factor.

American Idol producers have yet to name a replacement.

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06 Aug 09 |  Entertainment
Paula Abdul quits American Idol
05 Aug 09 |  Entertainment

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