Ellen DeGeneres, Katharine McPhee

Kevin Winter/ Getty Images for PCA; AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Katharine McPhee wasn't exactly shocked to learn that Paula Abdul was leaving American Idol.

"It doesn't surprise me, because it wouldn't surprise me if Simon Cowell was leaving the show," McPhee told me at last night's benefit concert for the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank and Feeding America.

"They've all been on the show for so many years…Do what you've got to do," she said. "People try to figure out the real stories and I'm like, 'Who cares? She wants to go.' "

In fact, McPhee thinks it's time for the show to shake things up a bit with someone like Ellen DeGeneres...

"I imagine some of the crazed fans who love Idol and don't want it to change at all would be upset," said McPhee, who has a second album, Unbroken, out early next year. "But I think it's a great changeup."

Besides, DeGeneres brings "the cool factor," McPhee said. "There's just something cool about Ellen. You can go around and around and say, 'What can she bring to the show?' but she's just cool!"

Meanwhile the Feeding America concert, which took place at Club Nokia and was spearheaded by David Arquette, featured performances from McPhee, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, brothers Joel and Benji Madden and even a "Smelly Cat"-singing Lisa Kudrow along with appearances by Christina Applegate, Lance Bass, Alanis Morissette and Isla Fisher.

Hanging backstage with Kudrow and wife Courteney Cox, Arquette told me he's hoping to make the fundraiser an annual event—but he refuses to take too much credit.

"We all do it," he said. "Lisa's been here since 5 p.m."

Kudrow cracked, "But I wasn't feeding anyone. I was just sitting here."

(For more on last night's benefit, check me out on Twitter at @marcmalkin. I was exclusively tweeting from backstage.)


Find out here what Adam Lambert recently told us about his life with Idol.

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