The talk-show host is the shocking replacement for longtime judge Paula Abdul, who quit in August over an alleged pay feud.
Fans of the former pop star, as well as TV commentators, have hit out at producers’ decision to sign up the funnywoman — claiming she has no suitable links to the music industry to make her a viable panelist.
But DeGeneres took the chance to defend herself on her daily talk show on Tuesday, and is convinced that her own history of being judged as a gay woman puts her in good stead to dish out advice to wannabe stars.
She told viewers, “Apparently, there’s a lot of debate going on right now whether I’m qualified or not to be the new judge on American Idol. I’ll tell you right now how I know I’m going to be a great judge: because I’ve spent my whole life being judged. So I know what it’s like.”
DeGeneres jokingly added, “The things people are saying –- I thought we’ve moved past this. We have the first African-American president. We’ve sworn in our first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. I think American Idol is ready for their first blonde judge.”
(c) 2009 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All global rights reserved. No unauthorized copying or re-distributing permitted.