Finally, all those years of teasing for having a last name that sounds dangerously like “degenerate” have paid off for Ellen DeGeneres. The popular TV host responded to critics who have questions her selection as the newest American Idol judge on her show Tuesday.
On a competition made famous for its often cruel critiques of contestants, Ellen instead plead her case with compassion:
Apparently, there’s a lot of debate going on right now, whether I’m qualified or not to be the new judge on American Idol … I’ll tell you right now, how I know I’m going to be a great judge — because I’ve spent my whole life being judged. So, I know what it’s like. So, I will be kind. I will be compassionate. I will be empathetic, and I will be truthful. I will be an honest judge without being mean.
To which I say, good for her. Public humiliation may make good television, but it’s awfully hard on the soul. I have no problem whatsoever having a judge like Ellen who will go out of her way to not be mean to people. She is still smart and funny, and that makes for good television, too. Since when has being a decent human being been so controversial?
Granted, she shouldn’t give the tone deaf false hope. But you can be truthful without being nasty. In fact, stringing together barely comprehensible platitudes seemed to be the departing judge Paula Abdul’s raison d’être on the show. At least now the praise will hopefully make sense and we won’t have to fear that she might pass out mid sentence. Plus, there’s always a chance that her wife Portia de Rossi might show up and, gosh, who does not love looking at pictures of those two together?
Ellen said she tries to stay away from all gossip about her in general and also says that America should be ready for its first blonde Idol judge. See the segment here:
Like many people I was pretty surprised when Ellen was announced as the fourth judges. But her lack of formal musical training and experience don’t bother me one bit. If you think about it, the ultimate judge for the series is us — the average folks sitting on the couch at home.
So finally now we have a representative at the table when the ninth season premieres in January 2010. And for the LGBT community, we have a powerful role model front and center on America’s most popular television program. That, my friends, is what I call a win-win.