DeGeneres: She'll be honest on 'Idol'

LOS ANGELES - Ellen DeGeneres is known for being nice. But the new 'American Idol' judge says she's tough enough to be honest with the show's contestants.

DeGeneres also said Thursday that she's ready to take on fellow judge Simon Cowell, known for his sarcasm toward both singers and his 'Idol' colleagues.

When Cowell is 'rude and mean,' DeGeneres said, she'll tell him. But she said she'll find a compassionate way to critique the contestants.

DeGeneres will join 'American Idol' as the fourth judge when the show returns for its ninth season in January. The seat opened up when Paula Abdul resigned in the midst of a contract dispute.

DeGeneres, who signed a five-year deal with 'Idol,' will continue with her daytime talk show.

Win a chance to sit alongside Oscar carpet

LOS ANGELES - Oscar fans can win a chance to be a part of the 82nd Academy Awards.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said fans can enter a lottery for bleacher seats alongside Oscar's red carpet. The online lottery begins Monday and continues through Sept. 20.

Winners will be chosen at random for the 700 seats that overlook the red carpet in front of the Kodak Theatre. Fans who win the lottery will also be invited to a viewing party to watch the Oscar telecast.

Winners will be notified in October.

Megan Fox, U2 to open 'SNL'

NEW YORK - Actress Megan Fox and U2 will give 'Saturday Night Live' an attention-getting season opener when it returns on Sept. 26.

U2's third appearance on the NBC show comes just after two sold-out gigs at Giants Stadium on Sept. 23-24. Fox is known for her breakout role in 'Transformers.'

'Saturday Night Live' will open with four new shows in a row. Ryan Reynolds is the host on Oct. 3, with musical guest Lady Gaga. Drew Barrymore and Gerard Butler are hosts in the following two weeks. Regina Spektor and Shakira bring the music.