paula abdul ellen degeneres Paula Abdul on 'Ellen': Simon Cowell is 'like a fungus' that 'you surrender to'“Live to Dance” judge Paula Abdul stops by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Tuesday (Jan. 11) to talk about her new show, plus what it was like working with Simon Cowell (and watching Ellen) on “American Idol.”

On Paula’s relationship with Simon Cowell:

: “The two of you have a very, would you say tumultuous relationship? It’s kind of love/hate.”
Paula: “Very tumultuous. Definitely love/hate and actually when we’re on the hating side, I will cross the street and walk on the other side. I avoid him like the plague.”
Ellen: “But you had to sit next to him all that time so you can’t cross the street.”
Paula: “You know what, I gave him the cold shoulder at times and he’d be laughing hysterically and I’d be so mad at him. And the more I got mad at him, the more I was feeding into his [poke, poke]. He’s an acquired taste. He’s like fungus in the sense that he sticks around for a long time and then finally you surrender to it.”
Ellen: “You surrendered to fungus?”
Paula: [pause] “Yeah.”
Ellen: “I know what you’re saying, though because I ended up really liking him, though. I didn’t know what to expect.”

On watching Ellen on “American Idol”:

Ellen: “You left the show and then they asked me to … And I kept trying to explain to people, ‘I didn’t take her job. She was gone.’ Was it weird for you to watch the show and see me there? Did you watch?”
Paula: “I can watch the show objectively and I can watch the show as a fan as I normally do. I can watch the show and say, ‘Wow.’ I thought you did a good job. I thought you handled yourself with poise and elegance. You handled yourself the right way that is authentic to who you are.”
Ellen: “It was hard for me. I’m sure you felt the same. It’s really hard to tell somebody, no matter what you really feel inside, in front of America, ‘That’s not good.'”

Watch the entire interview on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Wednesday, Jan. 11.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."