Ellen DeGeneres: I'll Call Out Cowell for Being Mean

Talk show host says to expect "brutal honesty"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Ellen says she and Simon Cowell get along -- for now.

    Watch out Simon – Ellen won’t tolerate any bullying this season on “American Idol.”

    Talk show host and new “Idol” judge Ellen DeGeneres says she admires her colleague Simon Cowell’s eye for talent and gets the feeling from phone conversations that both entertainers “like and accept one another.

    “At the same time I think [Cowell’s] mean and I think he says things in an insensitive way and I don't think that's the way to get a point across,” DeGeneres tells The Wall Street Journal. “I've called him on it to his face. I'll do the same thing to him [on "Idol"]. He knows I'm going to do that.”

    DeGeneres says she plans to be “brutally honest” as a judge and can’t predict what will come out her mouth. As such, she has no idea if she’ll be as “nurturing” as the judge she’s replacing, Paula Abdul.

    “[Abdul] always found a positive thing to say instead of attacking,” DeGeneres said. “I'll probably try to be somewhat encouraging. Just because in standup [comedy] there's no where to hide…I know what that feels like and I know it doesn't feel good, especially with millions of people watching. But I'll be honest. I don't think it helps anybody to be encouraged and not told the truth.”

    In preparing for the gig, DeGeneres says she’s started shooting her weekly talk show earlier in the morning so she can “jump in the car” and head to the “Idol” set.

    She jokes that she also preps by judging everyone she comes across.

    “I'm like, you thought that was a good outfit to wear?” DeGeneres tells the Journal.

    The ninth season of "Idol" kicks off Tuesday on Fox, with DeGeneres set to join fellow judges Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi in a few weeks.