Ellen DeGeneres Says She'll Judge 'American Idol' Like A Fan

'I hope Paula's OK with it,' new fourth judge tells Ryan Seacrest.

On Wednesday, talk-show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres was announced as the newest celebrity judge on "American Idol." But she isn't joining the show as one of its many guest judges. In a move that puzzled some "Idol" fans, DeGeneres is coming onboard as Paula Abdul's official replacement. And she hopes that by taking the job, she hasn't offended anyone.

"Paula was a huge part of the show, and that's a role that needs to be filled by someone in a totally different way," DeGeneres told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show on Thursday (September 10). "I hope Paula's OK with it. I don't want anyone to think I took Paula's job away."

When she joins Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell at the judges' table, DeGeneres doesn't plan to follow in Cowell's acerbic footsteps. "I'm not going to be mean," she said. "I hate it when Simon's that mean.

"I'll tell him the same thing I tell him when he's on my show — that he's mean," she said. "You can be constructive, and you can criticize someone in a way that's helpful and not mean-spirited."

DeGeneres, who said she was "surprised" when she heard that Abdul was leaving "Idol," went on to say that she hopes to have a different kind of judging style from the singer/choreographer. "I love music, period," she said. "And I'm a huge fan of the show. I haven't missed one show since the beginning. I'm just a fan, like everybody else.

"People are the ones who choose the American Idol," she added. "Ultimately, it doesn't come down to some expert in the music industry. It comes down to everybody at home who says, 'That's the person I relate to.' I hope to be that voice."

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