Ellen Plans To Be ‘Harder’ on ‘Idol’ Singers Next Season

by | June 10, 2010 at 7:56 AM | American Idol, RealityTV, TV News

Ellen DeGeneres of 'American Idol' (Photo: Fox)

Ellen DeGeneres of 'American Idol' (Photo: Fox)

If you were among those who thought Ellen DeGeneres added little to the ‘American Idol‘ conversation during her first turn at the judges’ table, expect the funny lady to bear her fangs a smidge more next January.

“I think next year my role will be to be exactly who I am – sometimes funny and sometimes serious – and I’ll probably learn to be a little harder on people without being rude,” DeGeneres said during a conference call to promote her new TBS comedy special, airing June 27.

“Your first year anywhere is going to be tough, because you’re trying to figure out what your role is,” DeGeneres explained. “I think it was a fine line for me to walk this year.”

‘Idol’ is facing a very tricky transition as it broaches its 10th season. Ratings were down for the latest cycle, a bit more than typical, and the finale was the least-watched ‘Idol’ coronation since Season 1 (which aired during the summer).

And of course there’s the fact that Simon Cowell has vacated his judge’s chair, moving on to produce, among other things, the U.S. adaptation of ‘X Factor,’ premiering on Fox fall 2011.

As reported by E! Online, ‘Idol’ may replace Simon with a rotation of guest judges rather than expect any one person to fill his shoes.

“No one can replace Simon,” DeGeneres says, “just like I wasn’t replacing Paula [Abdul].”