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Ellen DeGeneres: Disappointed in 'American Idol' Contestants

Ellen DeGeneres: Disappointed in 'American Idol' Contestants

Ellen DeGeneres holds a giant pumpkin on the latest cover of Parade, out this Sunday.

Here’s what the 53-year-old talk show host had to share:

On dealing with rejection in Hollywood after she came out as a lesbian in 1997: “I didn’t work, didn’t have any money. No one [in the business] would even talk to me on the phone.”

On her family being more understanding: “If anything, it was a shock to me. I’d always known that I had crushes on girls, but I also liked boys-though I wasn’t drawn to them romantically. For me to get in touch with myself enough to recognize that I was gay, and then not to stay private about it, was a huge step.”

On finding the behind-the-scenes nastiness of American Idol off-putting: “It was disappointing to hear things about the kids, the drama going on. Some of them are not as grateful as you would expect. All of a sudden they have fan mail, millions of people saying they’re great, and some of them just stop appreciating it.”

For more of Ellen‘s interview, check out!

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