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DeGeneres will join Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi on the show’s upcoming ninth season.
“I’m thrilled to be the new judge on ‘American Idol,'” DeGeneres said in a statement. “I’ve watched since the beginning, and I’ve always been a huge fan. So getting this job is a dream come true, and think of all the money I’ll save from not having to text in my vote.”
DeGeneres will join the judges’ panel after the auditions, which will include guest judges Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Shania Twain.
“I could not be more excited to have Ellen join the ‘American Idol’ family,” said creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. “Ellen has been a fan of the show for many years, and her love of music and understanding of the American public will bring a unique human touch to our judging panel. I can’t wait for this next season to begin.”
“She is truly one of America’s funniest people and a fantastic performer who understands what it’s like to stand up in front of audiences and entertain them every day,” said Fox president of alternative Mike Darnell. “We feel that her vast entertainment experience – combined with her quick wit and passion for music – will add a fresh new energy to the show.”
The news also means former judge Paula Abdul has officially been replacedfollowing weeks of speculation about whether she would return to theshow.
Thoughts: Signing DeGeneres is a good get for Fox … and an odd choice for “Idol.” Being an “Idol” judge means taking quite seriously a show that is, in some respects, overstuffed and absurd. It’s tough to predict how DeGeneres’ humor will mesh with that. Will she be a breath of fresh air and provide refreshing wit along with some of Abdul-style heart? Or will she inevitable feel like an outsider who’s commenting on a silly reality show while its playing out? Plus some fans are bound to cry foul — what does Ellen know about judging vocal talent? More to come tomorrow…
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