Ellen DeGeneres opens up on “Idol”

American Idol kicked off last week with another round of hive-inducing audition episodes, and they continue this week with stops in Chicago and Orlando. I’m serious about the hives: The mouth-breathing, costume-wearing, disability-exploiting audition mobs make me so uncomfortable I can barely watch the first part of the season. But I soldier on because it’s tradition — and because Ellen DeGeneres has already started taping her Hollywood episodes.


Ellen talked about the Idol transition on her show last week.


She also landed the cover of another magazine.

Some of the most interesting tidbits from Ellen and Simon’s interview ("Ellen & Simon: Idol‘s New Power Couple") came when the interviewer called out Simon on his often biting exchanges with Ryan Seacrest.

EW: Ellen, in the past Simon and Ryan have been criticized for their gay-themed banter. Are you going to police this?

Ellen: Simon, I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you — I’m gay.

Simon: Are you serious? No one told me that. Let me tell you something: We are the least racist, homophobic show in the world. What we do have, thank God, is a sense of humor. I hate political correctness. I wouldn’t go into any show saying anything is off-limits. If we have to abide by a ton of rules, we might as well call it a day now.

EW: Is that cool with you, Ellen?

Ellen: Well, I don’t go by that rule, where there’s no political correctness at all. If we lived in a world where there was no such thing as racism or homophobia, the obviously there would be no off-limits. Unfortunately, there are people in this world that don’t like other people, and that was one of the issues that was brought up about Adam Lambert. Obviously I’m sensitive to it because I’ve experienced that kind of discrimination. At the same time, the stuff that Ryan and Simon do — that’s never been offensive to me.

She also said in the interview that she won’t continue doing Idol if Simon leaves the show. Ruh-roh!

After Simon’s announcement this week that he is, in fact, leaving Idol after this season to concentrate on bringing X Factor to Fox, Ellen joked that she was trying not to take it personally.

Ellen’s episodes will begin airing in February. But before she takes to the live-show format, we have a couple of tips for her:

1) Dance! — That’s your thing. People love it. And it’s so much better than Randy Jackson’s thing: the Dawg Pound. And Kara DioGuardi’s thing: traipsing out in a bikini to show-up failed contestants. And almost as good as Simon’s thing: being an asshole.

2) Make it funny, but not a stand-up routine. — Yeah, we’re talking about your guest spot on So You Think You Can Dance. You know we love you, and we know you were just finding your footing there.

3) When you say something, say something. — Randy’s advice is the worst: "Pitchy, just alright, [name drop], [bark!]." Kara’s mostly ties the contestants in knots. And Simon’s just makes them cry. If they suck, help them be better! Give them some constructive advice!

4) Don’t argue with Simon. — We love him too, but he’s an arrogant, below-the-belt fisticuffs champion. And you’re not. Call him on his crap if you want, but never take it to round two.

5) Remember that your wife is the hottest wife on the planet. — That’s the happy place you can go to when Simon wants to take it to round two.

How many of you will be watching when Ellen’s Idol episodes begin to air? What tips do you have for her?


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