Comedienne and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who has danced with President Barack Obama (back when he was campaigning) and sang with Josh Groban, will fill the gap left behind by Paula Abdul’s exit. She is going to be the fourth judge on American Idol’s ninth season, premiering in January 2010.
Ellen made the surprising announcement on her talk show, saying that talks with AI producers had been ongoing for the past few weeks and the deal was finally worked out just before filming yesterday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“I’m thrilled to be the new judge on American Idol,” said DeGeneres said in a statement that confirmed her new gig. “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, who guest-judged on So You Think You Can Dance this summer, will continue to host her daily talk show: “I’m going to have a day job and a night job,” she says. “The times we’re living in … we’re all doing that.”
The show’s creator and executive producer Simon Fuller says: “I could not be more excited to have Ellen join the American Idol family. 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.”
Moreover, on her Twitter page, Paula Abdul wrote in Webspeak: “I think Ellen will b a gr8 judge on Idol. She is wildly funny, talented and I wish her the best of luck!”
Her selection also won raves from fellow judge Kara DioGuardi, who said she was “thrilled.”
“I’m a huge Ellen DeGeneres fan,” DioGuardi says in a radio interview with Sirius XM’s Larry Flick. “I think she’s going to bring so much to the show. She’s somebody who loves music. She’s positive. She loves kids. She’s somebody who has watched the show from the beginning, knows everything there is to know about American Idol. And I think ultimately it’s going to be a great new energy.”
DioGuardi, who joined the show last season, says she has not yet spoken to DeGeneres. “I want to get her email to say congratulations,” says DioGuardi. “I’m so excited to hang out with her … I would to say this is great and let her know I am completely ecstatic.”
Though DeGeneres is not a professional musician, she’ll be a permanent fixture on the panel with Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi, Victoria Beckham and Neil Patrick Harris, Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Joe Jonas, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Shania Twain.
This entry was posted on Saturday, September 12th, 2009 at 8:05 am and is filed under Americal Idol.