Two former American Idol judges talked on Tuesday when Paula Abdul was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Abdul was there to talk about her “Live to Dance” show, but it was especially interesting to see what she had to say about Simon Cowell, and how it felt to see Ellen replace her spot on AI.

When Abdul and DeGeneres talk about how hard it was to tell the poor singers that they were bad on American Idol, it occurred that the way to boost ratings for AI would be to eliminate the “nice” judge and have judges that won’t pussyfoot around. Of course, it does help the contestants when there is someone who won’t be harsh, and viewers at home like having one judge they feel they can relate to. Still. It’d be more entertaining for more brusk, British judges to come around and tell it like it is.

paula abdul ellen

On Paula’s relationship with Simon Cowell
Ellen: The two of you have a very, would you say tumultuous relationship? It’s kind of love/hate.
Paula: Very tumultuous. Definitely love/hate and actually when we’re on the hating side, I will cross the street and walk on the other side. I avoid him like the plague.
Ellen: But you had to sit next to him all that time so you can’t cross the street.
Paula: You now what, I gave him the cold shoulder at times and he’d be laughing hysterically and I’d be so mad at him. And the more I got mad at him, the more I was feeding into his {poke, poke}. He’s an acquired taste. He’s like fungus in the sense that he sticks around for a long time and then finally you surrender to it.
Ellen: You surrendered to fungus?
Paula: Pause. Yeah.
Ellen: I know what you’re saying though because I ended up really liking him though. I didn’t know what to expect.

On watching Ellen on AMERICAN IDOL…
Ellen: You left the show and then they asked me to…And I kept trying to explain to people, “I didn’t take her job. She was gone.” Was it weird for you to watch the show and see me there? Did you watch?
Paula: I can watch the show objectively and I can watch the show as a fan as I normally do. I can watch the show and say, “Wow.” I thought you did a good job. I thought you handled yourself with poise and elegance. You handled yourself the right way that is authentic to who you are.
Ellen: It was hard for me. I’m sure you felt the same. It’s really hard to tell somebody, no matter what you really feel inside, in front of America, “That’s not good.”

Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

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