First Impressions of Ellen: Surprisingly, You Should Take Her Seriously

Ellen DeGeneres' first week as American Idol judge: done.

It feels like just yesterday when Ellen was announced as Paula Abdul's permanent replacement on the show. I remember going, "oh, great, it's Ellen!" Suddenly Simon Cowell has to deal with a whole new set of wit, and who knows what possibilities that could unleash.

And then I got scared. First, Ellen doesn't have any musical background, something that Paula certainly had despite her often patronizing critiques and loopy quips. Sure, Ellen's got loads of experience performing, and her talk show has become host to a lot of musical artists (including many Idol contestants), but that doesn't equal musical experience. She did promise to represent the viewers, us at home who don't have extensive music biz chops, but have something to say as we watch along.

Second, I wasn't really a fan of her guest stint on So You Think You Can Dance's 100th episode. She didn't have a dance background, but she went to the show with a passion for the art... and ended up cracking jokes without giving any actual criticism. I was afraid that would happen when she took her permanent Idol seat.

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