"It's hard. It's easy at home to [say] whatever your opinions are, but to be right there in front of them and then have to tell someone that they're not going any further -- and some contestants are good but they're not great. I'm all for being honest, but eliminating people, it's tough," said the new American Idol judge during Wednesday's broadcast of her The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
"I'm bound to hurt people's feelings and I don't want to hurt people's feelings. I don't like that. I'm not that kind of person. They have a name for a person that likes to hurt people's feelings, it's called Simon. I don't like it."
Like any job, DeGeneres acknowledged there is a learning curve.
"I'm learning to tell people, 'It wasn't great. It wasn't good,'" she said.
While American Idol's ninth-season "Hollywood Round" doesn't air until February 9, it started taping this week -- representing DeGeneres' first stint on the judging panel after being tapped to replace Paula Abdul in September.
DeGeneres teased that there are "a lot of talented singers this season" and joked that since she will know who makes it as a semifinalist before viewers, she could make a hefty profit.
"If you have a good bookie, let me know," she said.
DeGeneres plans on continuing with her talk show while also serving as an American Idol job -- which she said it "exciting" but also leaves her tired.
"Very late, late night last night. Usually I'm in bed by 9PM -- seriously, I am -- or 9:15PM if I'm feeling crazy," she told her audience.
"But last night we were there until today. If they keep going like this, I'm going to have to put my pajamas on."