Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres

FOX; Kevin Winter/Getty Images for PCA

Ellen DeGeneres may do a fine job defending herself against critics who don't think she's qualified to be a judge on American Idol, but that doesn't mean her supporters are going to sit back and let her do all the work.

"She loves the show, she loves music, and she's a star," fellow judge Kara DioGuardi says. "You got to be a star to win the show."

And she continued…

"Ellen can really talk about what it's like to get on a stage and command the respect of the audience—make them remember you and want to see more of you," DioGuardi said. "I'm telling you, there are so many times kids come in and they can sing but we don't get any vibe from them. They're not stars. It's so important."

DioGuardi says she has some favorites already in the new season, but it's way too early to predict a winner. "That's what I love about this show," she said. "You could think it's someone you love in the very beginning, but then someone you never dreamed would win, wins!"

Don't tell that to Broadway diva and newbie Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth, who was one of Idol's guest judges during auditions. "I think it's going to be a guy this year," she hinted to me at the Emmys. "I'm just going to put that out there. I was in Orlando, and I hope I saw the person who is going to win."

Chenoweth said she was truthful with some of the Idol wannabes, even if it meant crushing their dreams.

"Was I mean? No," she insisted. "But I was honest. I just said, 'You know, you sing flat and you should concentrate on hair salons because that's really what you want to do and there's nothing wrong with that. Go for it. We all need good hair.' "


Read on to find out what Victoria Beckham said about being an Idol guest judge.

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