Ellen DeGeneres Replaces Paula Abdul On American Idol

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AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Chicago Tribune
Fox announced Wednesday the talk show host and comedian, who admittedly has no formal music experience, just a passion for tunes, would join Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi for the ninth season. The announcement all but seals the departure of Paula Abdul, the original third judge who announced she was quitting amid a contract dispute in July.

The announcement came as a shock to many of the popular singing competition’s fans, who did not expect the Emmy-winning talk show host to fill Abdul’s spot. DeGeneres told her talk show audience in an episode scheduled to air Thursday that she had been “dying to tell everyone” and would not abandon her chatfest. Instead, she will have “a day job and a night job.”

“The times we’re living in,” she quipped, “we’re all doing that.”

Abdul had been replaced by a succession of guest judges across the country as “Idol” started next season’s auditions. Among them: Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Shania Twain — but not the 51-year-old DeGeneres, who will join the ninth season following the show’s tryout rounds.

“Hopefully, I’m the people’s point of view because I’m just like you,” DeGeneres said on her talk show. “I sit at home and I watch it, and I don’t have that technical … I’m not looking at it in a critical way from the producer’s mind. I’m looking at it as a person who is going to buy the music and is going to relate to that person.”

It won’t be DeGeneres’ first time in a reality TV judge’s seat — or on “Idol.” She served as a guest judge earlier this summer on “So You Think You Can Dance,” critiquing the dancing competition’s top eight finalists. In 2007, she was the co-host of “Idol Gives Back,” the singing contest’s charity event. She returned the next year in a pre-taped segment.

“Beyond her incredible sense of humor and love of music, she brings with her an immense warmth and compassion that is almost palpable,” said “Idol” executive producer and FremantleMedia North America CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “She is one of America’s foremost entertainers, and we cannot wait to have her join our team.”

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2 Responses to “Ellen DeGeneres Replaces Paula Abdul On American Idol”
  1. Glennisha Morgan says:

    I'm glad Ellen is doing this! Love her!

    • Tatia says:

      My daughter is stuidyng sociology and has informed me of the many gender biases we all have and are generally unaware of – but they affect how we relate to each other and how we raise our children. It’s astonishing how true it is when examples are pointed out.In learning to paint (or draw) we are continually reminded to paint what we really see, not what we think or know is there. This is harder than you realize. But when you do begin to look at things as they really are, the world is very exciting.

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