Lynette Rice
September 12, 2009 AT 05:19 PM EDT

Former American Idol contestants like Carrie Underwood gave a thumbs-up to new judge Ellen DeGeneres, telling People she’ll make a “great addition” to the Fox talent show that begins this winter. “Everybody loves Ellen,” says Underwood, the season 4 winner. Fellow season 4 alum Constantine Maroulis agreed by saying the talk show host is “Amazing. She’s really funny,” but added that “we’ll miss Paula [Adbul].” Those were similar sentiments expressed by Season 7 winner David Cook: “I don’t know that anyone can replace Paula, nor should they try,” he says, “but I am excited to see how Ellen affects the dynamic of the show.”

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