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Ellen DeGeneres Says Cowell Is 'Meaner Than I Thought'

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for PCA
TV Host Ellen DeGeneres accepts the Favorite Talk Show Host award during the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

Ellen DeGeneres, the newest judge on "American Idol," says Simon Cowell is "meaner" than she thought.

Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and various guest judges kicked off the ninth season of the Fox singing competition last month. DeGeneres begins her stint Tuesday night.

In a video posted on the show's Web site, DeGeneres says Cowell is "actually meaner than I thought. It's hard to listen to him tell people things and for me not to go, 'You poor thing!'"

Cowell has announced that he's leaving "Idol" after this season. Paula Abdul left over a salary dispute.

DeGeneres says no one has given her advice on judging -- "they're just letting me do what I want to do."

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