October 31, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

Who knew New York hip-hop radio DJ Angie Martinez, the newly hired fourth ”American Idol” judge, would prove a bigger softie than Paula Abdul? After just a few days on the job, Martinez quit yesterday, citing her inability to criticize the auditioning hopefuls the way Simon Cowell or even Randy Jackson can. ”After judging the first few auditions, I’ve decided to leave the show because it became too uncomfortable for me to tell someone else to give up on their dream, especially when I realized that many of them have supported my musical career,” she said in a statement Wednesday. ”I thank everyone at Fox for the opportunity and wish every contestant the best of luck.”

Martinez is a hip-hopper herself (her second CD, ”Animal House,” was released in August), and she hosts a popular afternoon drive-time hip-hop show on New York’s ”Hot 97” (WQHT-FM). She acknowledged earlier this week that, before Fox hired her a week ago, she had never watched ”Idol.” Fox will not replace her, the New York Daily News reports.

Martinez had been expected to bring the perspective of a working performer to the jury, balance its gender ratio, and offer some New York attitude. But on Monday, Cowell told the New York Post, ”What’s good about Angie is that she’s subservient.” Then he turned to her and joked, ”Didn’t you clean our shoes when we were in Detroit?” Judging by yesterday’s statement, she was bothered less by Simon’s jibes than by having to give similar snark herself to New York auditioners who were often her fans. In other words, she could take it but she couldn’t dish it out.

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
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