Funny girl Ellen DeGeneres brings levity and ratings to FOX’s American Idol


In case any of your had ANY doubt, EVERYONE loves Ellen DeGeneres. If you don’t, you probably hate puppies and kitties too.

Despite the fact that everyone loves Ellen, people were still questioning her ability to take Paula Abdul’s place at the judges table of American Idol. Last night Ellen proved that instead of falling short, she had more to bring to the table than Paula did.

Ellen truly shown as she cracked jokes to cut Simon’s oppressive tension. A highlight was when she toyed with four contestants who had all made it to the next round by directing them to step forward, then back, then forward, to the side, etc . . . before letting them through. This caused Simon to crack a smile and call her a sadist, which isn’t really fair. Ellen would only torture people who actually got through. If she was batting the one’s who weren’t going to make it around like a cat prior to chomping into their prey, she wouldn’t be the warm-and-fuzzy (sometimes with bristles, but never daggers) comedienne who’s stolen the world’s hearts. (China, she’s coming for your hearts next!)

Instead when contestants weren’t quite up to par Ellen would gently yet honestly let them know what she thought and give them helpful advice (like when she told one of the featured contestants Vanessa Wolfe that she was unique, but needed to conquer her nervousness.) So far Ellen’s compassionate criticism seems like a better complement to Simon’s bitter blunt cuts than Paula’s wobbly enthusiasm.

She also helped boost ratings a bit, last night’s episode was up 12% (at 27.7 million viewers) from the last aired episode of American Idol, but it was only a 1% increased from the Hollywood episode last year. Not a big ratings bonanza yet, but the buzz around Ellen’s performance may still induce a substantial ratings rally.

Watch the her in action below:

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