Ellen DeGeneres: Simon Is "Meaner Than I Thought"
- Photo: Sara De Boer/Retna Ltd.1 of 9
- Photo: Jeff Kravitz/GettyImages.com2 of 9
- Photo: WENN/WENN3 of 9
- Photo: CHAB/TCAB/ZDS/WENN4 of 9
- Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP5 of 9
- Photo: Jordan Strauss/WireImage.com6 of 9
- Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.com7 of 9
- Photo: Mark J. Terrill/Invision/AP8 of 9
Ellen DeGeneres knew Simon Cowell could be harsh, but she says she had no idea just how critical he could be until she recently taped an episode.
"He's actually meaner than I thought," she tells "Entertainment Tonight."
"It's hard to listen to him tell people things and me not to go, 'You poor thing!'"
Reports surfaced last week that Cowell, 50, was already clashing with DeGeneres, 52, who makes her "Idol" debut Feb. 9.
At her first taping, Cowell was more than an hour late (he had just confirmed he was leaving the show after this season) and DeGeneres insisted that they begin without him.
"When Simon showed up, he was p---y that they started without him," a source tells the new Us Weekly (on newsstands now).
But Cowell apologized, and DeGeneres "accepted it right away and was fine," adds the insider.
DeGeneres also is "getting good at delivering bad news" to "Idol" wannabes, she says.
"I'm trying to do it in a tender way," she tells "ET." "I hate hurting people's feelings, so that, I think, is the hardest part."
She says that there are "good people" this season, and she's had to "fight very, very hard to keep the people that I believe in."
Adds DeGeneres, "We have a wide variety [of talent] ... somebody for everybody, I hope."
More on Wonderwall:
More on Usmagazine.com:
Fergie, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Heidi Klum all get an F on this week's Fashion Offenders.Watch Video »
Diva Double Date
Beyonce and Alicia Keys double date with their famous hubbies on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Where Are They?
See what the cast of "American Beauty" is up to today.Watch Video »
J.Lo's Mini Me
Prince Harry, Jessica Alba and more stars who threw out the first pitch at baseball games.Watch Video »