Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres

Michael Becker / FOX

Stop hating on Ellen, haters!

That's the message Kara DioGuardi is spreading this morning after Ellen DeGeneres' first night at the judges table on American Idol. In a phone interview, Kara insisted Ellen fell prey to some selective editing in last night's show and told the real story of what went down.

And oh yeah, wanna know if it's true that Simon Cowell and Ellen can't stand each other? Here's the scoop...

For starters, Kara insisted that Ellen is a much better judge than we saw. "How it's edited and what you see is very different from my experience," Kara told us. "I remember what led up to the jokes about, say kids not wearing shoes, and I remember just thinking she was very funny and critical and had heart...It's edited in a specific way. It has to be. It has to be about the contestants."

While the Idol producers' choice to replace Paula Abdul (who has a music  background) with Ellen (who does not) has drawn ire from some fans, Kara is quick to defend the goofy-dancing talk-show host. "I think [Ellen] knows more about music than you think she does," Kara said. "When I was sitting next to her, I thought she had a really good handle on whether a contestant had potential—whether they had a star quality. She knew something was off on the vocals or in their performance."

Kara was hesitant to comment on how Ellen compares to Paula, saying, "You can't really compare Paula and Ellen; they're completely different, and I think they both bring something valuable to the table. And to judge on one person's show is very difficult to do...It's something that takes time to get used to, and I think [Ellen] did an incredible job for her first time there."

When asked if it's true that Simon and Ellen can't stand each other, Kara was quick to shoot down the rumor, calling it "ridiculous." " I think you have to take any rumor you hear about American Idol with a grain of salt. They're usually not true. No, I mean, you know last year it was Kara and Paula fighting, hate each other, Kara sits in her corner. These things are just ridiculous. It's like, we are all there to do one thing and that's to find the greatest contestant—the greatest American Idol winner that we can find. And I know Ellen and Simon both take that seriously."

Speaking of, Kara is hoping the boys' luck lately comes to an end. "I would love to see a girl win," Kara admitted. "I think that this year, especially with what's going on in music currently, it's the women's movement. You've got Taylor Swift, you've got Beyoncé, you've got Keysha, you've got Katy Perry, you have Lady Gaga. You've have these very unique women and...looking at the pool of talent we have this year, it's similar to that."


Are you liking Ellen more than Paula so far? Are you missing Paula's nurturing spirit? Or is Ellen a breath of fresh air? Comment below...

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