Ellen DeGeneres 'Will Be Missed' On 'American Idol,' Jordin Sparks Says

'She lit up the room,' season-six winner tells MTV News.

Last week, "American Idol" fans were surprised to learn that Ellen DeGeneres would not return to judge the show, leaving after only one season at the judges' table. Though the announcement was met with mixed reactions, Jordin Sparks, who won the sixth season of the show, says she thought that once Ellen settled in, the talk show host "caught a good groove."

"I'm surprised because I didn't know until now and because I thought she caught a good groove with the show once she got used to it," she told MTV News in an e-mail. "I'm definitely going to miss watching her. She lit up the room and definitely knew how to break the ice if things got tense."

Now that there are two seats vacant, would Sparks, who has always been a vocal fan of Paula Abdul, want the former judge to step in? "I love Paula and I root for her either way," she explained. "She should come back if she wants to and if the show wants her."

And what if Sparks got the offer? Would she consider it? "Yes, because I've been in the contestant's position," she said. "And no because, even though it wouldn't be on purpose, I don't like hurting other people's feelings."

Last week, Crystal Bowersox, who competed on DeGeneres' one and only season of the show, opened up about DeGeneres' decision to walk away from the show. "Ellen is an amazing and kind human being, and I respect her and her decision to leave 'American Idol,' " Bowersox said. "She brought a smile to the show and so much more, and I am very happy to have been a part of her time there. I wish nothing but the best for her, and also to 'American Idol.' "

Season nine winner Lee DeWyze tweeted, "The show will be fine," while Conan O'Brien made light of the situation, writing, "Ellen has walked away from a television institution after one year, but I'm sure it's the right decision."

What will you miss most about Ellen? Tell us in the comments!

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