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Kristin Chenoweth: 'American Idol' judging was harder than I thought

By Reality TV World staff, 01/21/2010 

American Idol judging is apparently a lot harder than it looks on TV.

Like new regular judge Ellen DeGeneres, Kristin Chenoweth found the process to be more difficult than she expected when she served as a guest judge during American Idol's ninth-season Orlando auditions which aired on Fox last night.

"It was harder than I thought because you really do have to look into the faces of people and say yes or no," Chenoweth told People magazine at a West Hollywood event on Tuesday night.

"I don't like to be a bummer and hurt anyone's feelings."

Chenoweth hopes the contestants benefited from her feedback despite her personal discomfort.

"I saw some really good talent and hopefully I was an encouragement to some people," she told People.  "There's always usually one good thing you can say."

Chenoweth was one of eight celebrities who guest judged last summer's auditions while Fox determined who would replace departed judge Paula Abdul, who unexpectedly announced she was leaving the show shortly before the auditions began.

Last week, DeGeneres -- who eventually signed on to replace Abdul and will make her American Idol debut when the show's Hollywood Week episodes begin airing next month -- had also noted that judging Idol turned out to be more difficult than she had anticipated.

"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," DeGeneres said during last 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."

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