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Ellen DeGeneres proved she's willing to crack the verbal whip as the newest judge on "American Idol," which kicked off its Hollywood week on Tuesday night with Ellen's highly anticipated debut.

"So this is it. I come on, you leave," Ellen deadpanned to Simon Cowell, who's exiting the show after this season. The Brit wit chuckled in reply.

Ellen then served up candid criticisms and compliments alike to the crop of Hollywood hopefuls who performed over the course of two days at L.A.'s Kodak Theatre.

"You frighten me," she told a self-promoting singer nicknamed Skiiboski. "Don't frighten your audience. Don't get so intense. Sexy and scary, it's a fine line."

"I think she's gonna get annoying," she leveled about another contestant while huddling with her fellow judges.

The contestants who ended up making the cut face arguably an even tougher challenge tomorrow night on "Idol" -- the patience-fraying group round!

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