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DeGeneres debuts on "American Idol"

By David Gordon, Managing Editor

The most interesting thing about Ellen DeGeneres is how she's managed to constantly reinvent herself through the years. Starting as a stand-up comedian, navigating her way through the world of sitcoms, becoming a talk show host, Ellen (one of the few people who are instantly recognizable by their first name, like Oprah, Regis and Cher), has found a new niche every few years and has managed to succeed.

Whether or not she'll be successful as the replacement for Paula Abdul on "American Idol," is another story. Her first appearance aired Tuesday night, and, truth be told, she looked a little nervous.

Well, more than just a little. But despite her obvious nerves, she proved that, while not a music professional in any stretch of the imagination, she knows what she's talking about and provide constructive criticism. Take, for example, her telling a man called SkiBo Ski early on not to prowl around the stage because it frightens the audience.  

The best performance of the night, by far, was Andrew Garcia's acoustic rendition of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up." Abdul, who left the show before this season started, would have no doubt gone crazy, as per usual. Her erratic behavior will certainly be missed. But, at least after tonight, DeGeneres seems like she'll be a welcome addition. 

Ellen DeGeneres, one of the newest judges of "American Idol" (Photo courtesy of

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