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Harder Than Diamond

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Apr. 30 2008, Published 10:09 a.m. ET

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The Idols' attempts at Neil Diamond songs may have paled in comparison to his originals last night, but the star says the contestants have something he never did: guts.

The 60s star told the Extra show that being the mentor for last night's show was a blast.

“It was fun because the kids were so anxious to please and they are wonderfully talented kids!” he said.

“I have to tell you they all pretty much blew me away. I was impressed by not only their singing ability, but their poise.”

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And Diamond added that Idol contestants have more guts than he ever did, too. He said he would never have put himself in their place if the contest had been around when he was starting out.

“I would never have made it through the first round," said the Sweet Caroline star.

"My voice is strange and different. I would have been much too nervous.

"It took me years to feel comfortable in front of an audience and on stage.”

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Neil Diamond will appear on tonight's edition of Extra.

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