'American Idol' Judges Aren't 'Qualified,' Patti LaBelle Says

'Some of the judges, I don't think they're even qualified to judge,' legendary singer says of the show.

The "American Idol" contestants on the receiving end of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres' many critiques aren't the only ones with bones to pick against the show's judges — acclaimed R&B singer Patti LaBelle thinks they should hold their tongues, too.

"Some of the judges, I don't think they're even qualified to judge," LaBelle said in a slam against the "American Idol" establishment, according to The Associated Press. The singer wouldn't identify any one judge as particularly worthy of her ire, but it's poor timing for DeGeneres, whose live debut last night was widely seen as unimpressive by fans and veteran "Idol" bloggers.

"Her comments were kind of rambling and she didn't say much — mostly 'I like you,' which isn't of much substance," remarked Rickey Yaneza of "Idol" blog Rickey.org. "If she's the judge that will prop up contestants [in the absence of former judge Paula Abdul], there weren't too many high points."

But it isn't terribly likely that LaBelle was targeting DeGeneres specifically, as her discontent seems directed towards the offensive remarks made by judges. "The comments that were made, they could make you, like, want to kill yourself," LaBelle said.

LaBelle said that given the chance she'd take a different approach in helping to cultivate the young talent featured on the show. "If you believe in yourself, just go for it," she would advise the show's contestants. "What do you have to lose? And when people tell you, 'You can't,' you have to say, 'I can.' "

The 65-year-old singer said that she was approached by "Idol" producers to judge the series before Paula Abdul was asked aboard. A representative for the show had no comment on LaBelle's claim.

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