Kara DioGuardi Praises Ellen’s “American Idol” Debut

Channel 933 Summer 2015-88
Alex Matthews

Ellen DeGeneres made her debut on "American Idol" on Tuesday night – and her fellow judge Kara DioGuardi thinks Ellen has managed to fit right in.

"I think that Ellen brings a sense of humor, of course, but also I think she knows more about music than you think she does," Kara said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday morning. "I think she was critical at times and she gave good feedback that was constructive."

And while Ellen may lack a professional music background, Kara thinks the comedienne has a good eye for separating the talented singers from the less-than-stellar wannabes.

"When I was sitting next to her, I thought she had a really good handle on whether a contestant had potential — whether they had star quality," Kara added. "She knew if something was off in the vocals or in their performance and I thought she delivered the message with kindness but also had criticism in there… I'm speaking from experience that when I first came in, it's something that takes time to get used to and I think she did an incredible job for her first time there."

But one celebrity, also lacking a musical background, who Kara doesn't think would be the best fit at the judges' table when Simon Cowell leaves at the end of the season is shock jock Howard Stern.

"Right now that's a rumor and I don't even know if I can even speak on it. I don't think he has musical background or any kind of music, um, anything," Kara said. "And I think that if you are going to replace Simon, you have to have that background. You have to be somebody who knows about signing, great artists and being a part of their career from the beginning to the very end like he has done with people like Leona Lewis, who he spotted early on and nurtured and turned them into big stars.

"So I think that's probably a precursor for whoever takes that position, if they are not a big artist who has been through it themselves," she added.

Kara also shot down any rumors of a spat between Simon and Ellen.

"I think you have to take any rumor that you hear about 'American Idol' with a grain of salt. They're usually not true," she said. "Last year, it was Kara and Paula fighting each other… These things are just ridiculous. We are all there to do one thing and that's to find the greatest 'American Idol' winner we can find – and I know both Ellen and Simon take that seriously."

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