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'Idol:' Ellen, the judge

Posted by Joanna Weiss  September 9, 2009 08:30 PM

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Breaking "American Idol" news: Ellen DeGeneres will take Paula Abdul's place as the show's permanent fourth judge, assuming her post right after the audition rounds. She announced the new gig during a taping of her midday talk show, which she'll continue to do, as well.

I'm baffled by the news, and a little dismayed. Yes, Ellen is one of the most engaging people on television; her talk show is lots of fun, her AmEx commercials are a hoot, and she even manages to make QVC sales entertaining. (She occasionally goes on the shopping network to hawk a line of pet food in which she has an equity stake.) But when she did a guest-judging stint on "So You Think You Can Dance" this summer, she was shockingly bad, and the problem seemed to be that she knew nothing about dance. She just kept repeating the same joke -- "I can do that" -- and then spewed forth gushing, indiscriminate praise.

Yes, Paula was all about the gushing, indiscriminate praise. But she also had a background in the music industry. When she reminded us that it's hard to sing onstage in front of teeming crowds, we knew that she spoke from experience. She was the nice, encouraging, entertainingly-loopy counterpoint to tough-love Simon, but she also represented the performer's perspective, and despite her incoherence, she often had something relevant to say. We all know that Ellen can do nice. But can she - and should she - do music? To her studio audience, Ellen suggested that she'd serve as a voice of the public: "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.” But the music-buying public already gets a voice; the audience gets to vote. And does "Idol" really need a fourth judge at all, given how often the show ran past its time slot last season? Ellen is a talk show host, after all. She's not conditioned to be concise.

Are you pleased? Aghast? Share your thoughts in the comments, and come back here at noon tomorrow to dish during our weekly TV chat.

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108 comments so far...
  1. this just sucks - this is the end of idol - too bad, i really enjoyed it for years

    Posted by kate ribera September 9, 09 09:10 PM
  1. Hate it! Get someone who knows the music business in and out.

    Posted by Otis September 9, 09 09:11 PM
  1. I'm with you Joanna, but I'm also willing to give her a chance. They have Kara, or whatever her name is, for the industry insider perspective. Let's see how it goes.

    Posted by Kevin September 9, 09 09:14 PM
  1. Yeah, I am thinking it's kind of strange. You would think that after all the trouble they had with four judges, they wouldn't bother replacing Paula. It doesn't make any sense to me.

    I like Ellen, but I think I will be skipping Idol this year. There is too much other stuff to watch.

    Posted by Tracy September 9, 09 09:14 PM
  1. The show's as much about show as talent ... so she's the show judge.

    Posted by RickW September 9, 09 09:14 PM
  1. I LOOVVE this choice.....a voice of the people. After Adam Lambert, I really did not want to tune in again. Now I will....she will be AMAZING.

    Posted by shelagh September 9, 09 09:15 PM
  1. Wow. One of the worst things to ever happen to television just got worse. I thought about watching it once this season, just to say I've watched, but with this news, I think I'd prefer to put salt in my eyes.

    Posted by DanG September 9, 09 09:19 PM
  1. Awesome!! This is a great choice. Humor, compassion and knowledge of show biz. I think Ellen will do great!

    Posted by pw September 9, 09 09:20 PM
  1. So you go from incoherent, possible drug addict judge that loved everyone and never said a bad thing about the contestants and clapped and cried at nothing. To a person who is always acting confused and nervous and loves everyone and never says a bad thing about anyone and knows nothing about music. Wow i wish i worked in Hollywood.

    Posted by k-dawg September 9, 09 09:24 PM
  1. The better choice would have been Sarah Palin. She is a true woman and really understands what it means to be an American. How can we talk about American Idol and only make it about entertainment? If we are to really make American Idols, we should cast them in the views of people like Ms. Palin.

    Why not have four judges and make one of them, her? She would give her customary pluck, charm, wit, courage and honesty to the show.

    Posted by Sarah September 9, 09 09:26 PM
  1. This is a FANTASTIC choice. Listen, you've already got 3 judges who are ALL in the music industry. Lets put somebody up there who is an entertainer and that's Ellen. Shes hilarious and entertaining and she actually makes me want to watch; I haven't watched in years! Paula needed to get off the show; you can't understand what the woman is talking about when she's on her meds.

    Posted by Lauren September 9, 09 09:37 PM
  1. I love Ellen, but I just can't picture her judging American Idol.

    Posted by Katie September 9, 09 09:38 PM
  1. Why doesn't people to stay at what they're good at and leave music to those that have made a career out of it.

    Posted by Eloise September 9, 09 09:38 PM
  1. This is the end of the show......

    Posted by Bad choice September 9, 09 09:41 PM
  1. Worse move than when ABC put Dennis Miller in the announcing booth for Monday Night Football.

    No one will ever acknowledge it but that was the start of the end of ABC Monday Night Football. I didn't watch it for two years.

    Posted by whocaresanymore? September 9, 09 09:47 PM
  1. What a joke. They should have just hired Bozo The Clown..... geesh

    Posted by Jared September 9, 09 09:49 PM
  1. I agree. The shark has just been jumped. See ya Idol. You just lost one of your faithful.

    RIP.

    GD

    Posted by Gary September 9, 09 09:49 PM
  1. You won't see Simon hitting on this judge! I cannot stand her. I am done with Idol and I am positive it will be cancelled after this year.

    Posted by MikeL September 9, 09 09:56 PM
  1. lousy choice. Glad I stopped watching Idol after season 1!

    Posted by john September 9, 09 09:57 PM
  1. She is not a singer... She is just a popular somewhat funny yet politically correct person who is good at concealing her agenda.

    Posted by pj1 September 9, 09 10:04 PM
  1. Great choice, she's hilarious and a huge star. What did Paula Addul ever really bring to the show? I will finally start watching the show.

    Posted by jp September 9, 09 10:06 PM
  1. MikeL #18-

    Okay, you're done with the show, that's fine but cancelled? Really? Top rated show on TV (on two nights no less). This show is a cash mahcine for FOX. It may well have lost some steam but the momentum alone will keep it going for a few more year still.

    BTW- put me in the camp of being mildly positive about the Ellen news. I find her funny and she may be able to add an interesting perspective.

    Posted by FinnFann September 9, 09 10:13 PM
  1. Oh God. Please tell me she won't 'dance' on the show.

    Posted by XIDOLFAN September 9, 09 10:29 PM
  1. Egad, singing as a fish in Finding Nemo qualifies one to be an Idol judge? That's really lowering the bar.

    Posted by Beverley Hon September 9, 09 10:41 PM
  1. YAY!!! Ellen is a FABULOUS choice! She's funny, quick, smart, won't fall into a drug-induced coma, and can dance better than half the contestants who will appear before her! Excellent choice!!

    pj1: "good at concealing her agenda?" agenda? LOL. suppressed much?

    Posted by bu1991 September 9, 09 11:02 PM
  1. An absolutely 1st-class career ruined by the bonehead decision to be part of a show that's been a no-talent zone since day 1. Money. Money. Money. Sad. Sad. Sad.

    Posted by zootsuitbeatnick September 9, 09 11:16 PM
  1. Get over it. We need someone that isn't drunk on the show. About they should have someone who sings or knows he business. Do we all remember that Paula can't sing, she was a cheerleader for goodness sakes.Paula had what maybe a hand full of hits back in the 80's. She was huge waste on the show from day one. We will finally have a sober judge to replace her!!! Paula will not be missed , she was a huge joke, Simon always made fun of her , and so did we. Goodbye Paula, we won't see you again, trust me , she doesn't have any talent, to be missed.

    Posted by Bill September 9, 09 11:26 PM
  1. This is almost as good an idea as Dennis Miller doing MNF....

    Posted by Lance M September 9, 09 11:29 PM
  1. I love Ellen and Ellen loves people and music, and I think she knows a thing or two about entertaining,,,,,rock on!!!

    Posted by E. Murray September 10, 09 12:09 AM
  1. Hope it doesn't prompt the demise of the show. Three judge was enough. Everyone loves Kara. They should have left well enough alone!!!!

    Posted by Karen September 10, 09 12:33 AM
  1. I love the idea of Ellen being a judge on AI

    Posted by theresa rodriguez September 10, 09 12:36 AM
  1. Annoying ,not funny, what does this overrated windbag know about music .Stay with your own boring show what a joke this is I am sure somewhere in her contact her girlfriend has to have a guest appearance or Ellen will quit.I cannot understand who thought of hiring this stiff.Who is next that slob Rosie O'Donnell.

    Posted by Randy Jackson September 10, 09 12:44 AM
  1. Gary is so right. Amer. Idol has JUMPED THE SHARK with this one. I think that show is the most OVERRATED show on tv.

    Posted by Wednesday September 10, 09 12:57 AM
  1. Well, since music is only incidental to American Idol, I suppose Ellen, who is a great wit and gag fest to boot, can't but add to its charm. I say all the best to Ellen! On the other hand, I rarely watch the show. So, take it for what it's worth ... :)

    Posted by Inquirer0 September 10, 09 01:25 AM
  1. YOU ABSOLUTE IMBECILES! Way to ruin a great thing!

    Posted by PatsFanInGlendaleAZ September 10, 09 02:11 AM
  1. Yeah for Ellen! She is a great entertainer.

    Of course one needs to sing well to be on Idol but there is much more to it than just a good voice, you need the package. Ellen has what it takes to be an entertainer and a star and could offer a lot to the show.

    Go Ellen!

    Posted by Mom September 10, 09 04:55 AM
  1. ugh. AI has jumped the shark.

    Posted by disappointed September 10, 09 05:07 AM
  1. I am not really sure how I feel. I really like Ellen, but I will have to watch and see how she does.
    Maybe she will be really good for Idol. She is the only one there that really has personality and I am sure she will add something positive. With Paula, you never knew how she was going to act and I don't think she was a very good role model for the kids.
    Why not give her a chance - I know I am going to.

    Posted by Irene September 10, 09 05:18 AM
  1. I am not really sure how I feel. I really like Ellen, but I will have to watch and see how she does.
    Maybe she will be really good for Idol. She is the only one there that really has personality and I am sure she will add something positive. With Paula, you never knew how she was going to act and I don't think she was a very good role model for the kids.
    Why not give her a chance - I know I am going to.

    Posted by Irene September 10, 09 05:22 AM
  1. Oh for pete's sakes! Let's get off the fact she has no music INDUSTRY experience!!! She's admitted that!! I think it's a great move. I really hate seeing Paula leave as she was like comic relief after a Simon berating. I will miss Paula but I'm dying to see Ellen. Anyone who is a fan of Ellen, knows she LUVS her music and she stays current on most genres. GREAT CHOICE!!!! They had to do something since Kara really hasn't got a big fanbase, yet. And I say "yet" because I like Kara and the fact that she takes the show serious. I think Randy and Simon are just phoning it in and it's all just a paycheck at this point for them.

    Posted by causewaychaos September 10, 09 05:23 AM
  1. bu1991...repressed, not suppressed.

    Posted by big dummy September 10, 09 06:09 AM
  1. I didn't even watch one segment this past season, and only a few the season before....the show was getting boring. But I really like Ellen, and will probably tune in - once, anyway.

    Posted by Maria September 10, 09 06:12 AM
  1. Hey pj:

    Neither is Simon a singer (Thank God) so your reasoning is void.

    Ellen will add humor to the show but she does not have a level of music industry knowledge or experience that one should have to be a judge on this show.

    Belinda Carlisle would have been a better choice.

    Posted by 1goodman September 10, 09 06:19 AM
  1. I don't get it. I guess she has a crossover audience they figure will be pulled into the Idol fan base. It's all about the $$$!!

    Posted by GimmeSomeMoney September 10, 09 06:33 AM
  1. Not sure what to think. I love Ellen, she's got great wit and clarity, and she'll be a wonderful match with Simon in terms of one-liners. But uh...since when is she a music industry guru? On the other hand, she IS an entertainment industry guru, so maybe a fresh pair of eyes from a slightly different perspective would be a good thing. Good luck Ellen!

    Posted by Bluidshay September 10, 09 06:44 AM
  1. Did someone really suggest Sara Palin? I guess that would be a good choice if you wanted a laugher on the show - she's such an airheard her dumb comments could entertain us all even when the entertainers fail us. Oh yeah and she could just pull out her rifle and shoot all those who lose.

    Wait - better yet, she could wander over to the set of America's funniest Videos and they could show her speeches for the audience. Yeah Sara Palin, that would be entertainment.

    Posted by Pat September 10, 09 06:46 AM
  1. Ellen always makes me laugh! We need some entertainment from the judges instead of listening to them bicker all the time. THAT was getting old! She is the voice of us, the people who don't really know too much about the music industry and can give an opinion from our standpoint! For those of you who are upset, you all still have your judges that know a lot about the music industry as well!

    Posted by kb819 September 10, 09 06:48 AM
  1. Jared #16:
    "What a joke. They should have just hired Bozo The Clown..."

    They did.

    Posted by George September 10, 09 06:53 AM
  1. Idol is trying to be hip by reaching a wider audience. So, they think Ellen Degenerate is the answer? Is this what the networks are pandering to.....more gay America?

    Posted by Idol is done September 10, 09 06:59 AM
  1. i've never watched a full episode before. now maybe i can hang on.

    Posted by ozzie September 10, 09 07:03 AM
  1. Love Ellen. Loved Paula on AI. That's about all I loved about the show. I viewed the contestants as props. The talent just isn't good enough to sustain my interest after a few weeks. It's boring and predictable. But Paula, she was always a hit at our house. Ellen is great but not for AI. We'll be tuning out.

    Posted by portiaperu September 10, 09 07:07 AM
  1. I'm done w/AI. Where I was a total addict, I feel like I can go cold turkey and not watch anymore.

    E.D. is a little kid w/wrinkles. Childishness behavior may get you a laugh, but it gets pretty boring very quickly. I can't imagine watching AI for the entire season. May, and I mean MAY, tune in for last show of the season.

    Posted by Kab September 10, 09 07:15 AM
  1. To Idol is done: Well since gay america makes up one of the single largest consumer groups, it could be a wise move on the producer's part.

    However, as a major Ellen fan, I agree with Joanna. I'm not sure this is the right vehicle for her. In fact, I feel like she is too professional for AI. Part of the AI charm is its cringe-worthy moments - a lot of which come from it's basically sloppy, semi-illterate group of judges.

    Idol is tired anyway. Should be interesting.

    Posted by Monique VanDeSoaker September 10, 09 07:27 AM
  1. I love it. Some Humor finally.
    Paula Abdul, comon, she was a drunken puppet.

    Posted by ABE September 10, 09 07:32 AM
  1. We lose Paula and get Ellen, bad trade. Looks like the end of Idol for me and lots of others. I want to listen to singers not bad comedians.

    Posted by Big Jim September 10, 09 07:34 AM
  1. Thank you American Idol for freeing up some much need time in my life. I will NEVER watch the show again. I like Ellen, I like her talk show, I think she is funny, I support her views, but is she is not experienced to give someone advice on a singing career.

    Posted by portlandmeman September 10, 09 07:36 AM
  1. I loved the episode of So You Think You Can Dance when Ellen was the guest judge. It was a breath of fresh air and she was sweet and funny. That said, I think having her on AI every week could be a bit much since she isn't really qualified to give the constructive criticism that the judges should be giving (but often don't). I wish they'd go to a rotating judge slot as they do on SYTYCD. Still, I look forward to watching her on the show. I was never much of a Paula fan.

    Posted by Cordelia September 10, 09 07:41 AM
  1. AI jumped the shark last year. Why do they feel the need to continue with the four judges? Oh yeah, because Kara sucks.

    Posted by magoo September 10, 09 07:41 AM
  1. unpredictable and possibly (read: most likely) drug addict that she may be, i will miss paula. i'm willing to give ellen a shot- i think that her sarcastic sense of humor will mesh well with simon and we all know that after the auditions, the next best part of the show is watching the judges interact.

    also, i would love to see a guest performance from that crazy dude from two seasons ago who sang that "i am your brother" song to simon. that was probably the most hilarious thing i've ever seen on a reality show

    Posted by CatWelch September 10, 09 07:43 AM
  1. Why do they need a fourth judge? Why would Ellen want to do this? Three has a tie breaker. Whatever, it will run its course and there will be another American bandstand meets the Gong show in 10 years when we forget about it. The ratings are still very high so we'll see.

    Posted by pmacglobe September 10, 09 07:44 AM
  1. I love Ellen! She explained it perfectly. She is not trying to give the perspective of an industry insider. She wants to represent the audience who goes out and buys the music.

    Ellen is top notch all the way!

    Posted by CC September 10, 09 07:50 AM
  1. Doesn't anyone know how to just have fun with something? Stop being so uptight and taking this so seriously. She'll be funny, she'll entertain America, wheres the harm?

    Posted by haverhillgirl September 10, 09 07:52 AM
  1. @ #49 Ellen 'Degenerate' is that a dig at her sexual orientation. Who cares? Nice hate speech.

    Posted by #49 is a loser September 10, 09 07:53 AM
  1. #30:
    "everyone loves Kara???" What rock do you live under? The majority were surprised that Kara's contract was actually renewed. She was panned by bloggers, critics etc. You must be one of her only fans. Do you own her album too??

    As for Ellen: I'm definitely surprised by the announcement. You would've thought after the format change last year, that didn't go over so big, they would've had someone a little more similar to Paula (e.g. 80's star), like Gloria Estafan (much more talented than Paula), or Tiffiny, or Debbie Gibson, or one of the Gibb brothers, or any of the 100's of one hit wonders from the 80's. Not Ellen. I will watch out of curiousity, but I'm not overly excited.

    Posted by jaye September 10, 09 07:55 AM
  1. "Hope it doesn't prompt the demise of the show. Three judge was enough. Everyone loves Kara. They should have left well enough alone!!!!"

    Nobody loves Kara. She is obnoxious

    Posted by Excited for Ellen September 10, 09 08:18 AM
  1. omg I am so ecited. this woman is fresh and exciting! and btw, Hysterical!
    I watched before...I'll listen now!

    Posted by Judgenot September 10, 09 08:19 AM
  1. Of course, she's gay - they had to hire her to fill Hollywood quota's...

    Posted by ME September 10, 09 08:21 AM
  1. I think Ellen will be fabulous! She is a smart, interesting, extremely entertaining woman. She, obviously, loves music and I think is going to live up to her words of "being the voice of America". If they ever consider changing the format back to 3 judges I'd say they should let Randy go. I can't stand much more" A'ight Dawg"...enough is enough! He really doesn't offer any critiques that really matter.

    Posted by dploura September 10, 09 08:48 AM
  1. Bad move. She will beusing her 'schtick' and tryging to crack jokes rather than add anything useful to the show.
    I'm out.

    and whoever said Sarah Palin, I hope you were trying to be funny/ironic...otherwise that is just plain scary that you think that way. Unfortunately you are not the only one.

    Posted by kxs999 September 10, 09 08:54 AM
  1. Get Janet Jackson! Queen Latifah! Patti Smith! Amy Winehouse!

    Posted by Nick Name September 10, 09 08:58 AM
  1. I love Ellen. this is a great choice!!!

    Posted by TARAS September 10, 09 09:06 AM
  1. Couple of observations -- Ellen and Ryan Seacrest are very good friends....while AI may be one of the top rated shows on TV, I think the producers were afraid of losing some of their audience with the departure of Paula. Bring on Ellen and her followers, if they are not already AI fans. #49 post -- shame on you.

    Posted by Bugaboo September 10, 09 09:09 AM
  1. Bad, bad, bad choice. I found myself muting her when she was a guest judge. She self-indulgent and irrelevant to this show.

    Posted by Margaret September 10, 09 09:15 AM
  1. Ellen has no music connection beyond interviewing and having friends.

    The person they should have broken the bank to get is: BETTE MIDLER.

    She knows music, the industry and is funny!

    Posted by whatsthematter September 10, 09 09:20 AM
  1. Hate to agree, but as many have said, Idol has jumped the shark.

    Posted by Paul September 10, 09 09:26 AM
  1. I love Ellen but I do not think that she is the right person to take Paula's place. She doesn't have the musical experience like Paula. In fact, Paula was completely incoherent at times on the show but it really felt like she "belonged" there. Personally, I cannot stand Kara and because of her the show did run over so many times. It's too bad that they just couldn't pay Paula what she deserved. I don't think that the show is going to be as good as it used to be. I believe that it's going to be a joke now. Too bad.

    Posted by Woody's Mom September 10, 09 09:27 AM
  1. I vote NO to Ellen. Get her out of Disney also.

    Posted by Wavelength1550 September 10, 09 09:30 AM
  1. At least Paula was a former pop star. What are Ellen's music credentials? Or is she going to crack jokes all night? Not good.

    Posted by Noah September 10, 09 09:32 AM
  1. Ellen is charming and funny and cogent. Three things Paula had trouble mustering up. And for those of you who say the show has,"Jumped the shark" are you kidding me? The show loses the incoherent pill-popper and that is the sound of the death knell? I would think this would be a case of addition by subtraction with Ellen thrown in as a bonus.

    Posted by John Diamond September 10, 09 09:35 AM
  1. I love Ellen, and think she's hilarious, but NOT a good choice for Idol. Firstly, there is no need for a 4th judge, it was completely unnecessary this past season. Secondly, there are more qualified candidates. Finally, she has a tendency to go over the top to get laughs, which is great for stand-up but bad for a show like Idol. She's probably going to have a very difficult time sharing the spotlight with 3 judges, though I think she will more effectively ruffle Simon which could be good. I don't see it going well, but I could be wrong...

    Posted by Tibbs September 10, 09 09:40 AM
  1. Couple of observations -- Ellen and Ryan Seacrest are very good friends....while AI may be one of the top rated shows on TV, I think the producers were afraid of losing some of their audience with the departure of Paula. Bring on Ellen and her followers, if they are not already AI fans. #49 post -- shame on you.
    Posted by Bugaboo September 10, 09 09:09 AM
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    well, while i wouldn't have used 'degenerate', as it's rude, #49's point stands. it does seem to me that pretty much the obvious reason why such an obviously unqualified, completely unrelated to music, judge is hired to provide unnecessary 'common man' opinion (i thought there is voting!) is really to pander to or appease the gay demographic. they used to have a recording producer, music talent scout, performing artiste, and songwriter. music fans are the voters. ellen has no value to add. they should have upgraded the performer to a better performer, not hired a joke.

    Posted by Kirana September 10, 09 09:47 AM
  1. I basically agree, i love ellen, but she doesn't really belong here judging musical talent.

    Posted by R September 10, 09 09:54 AM
  1. I am a bit amazed that so mnay people take this show seriously.
    As long as the winner is chosen by the people, it's not a true contest, just a show. Since it's a show, anyone can be a judge. There are no qualifications to judge, millions of people act as judge each week, and their opinion and vote is what counts, not the 'judges'. The judge's are there for their entertainment value.

    Posted by B Damon September 10, 09 11:50 AM
  1. Scrap the show, spike.

    Posted by BTownExpress September 10, 09 12:01 PM
  1. Three judges are enough. Don't see what Ellen can bring. She can't dance, can't sing. Is she going to make jokes at the contestants' expense? That's too easy. How can she give constructive criticism when she doesn't know about music? Don't kid yourself. Paula new the music industry. I would make a perfect judge. Have no talent.

    Posted by elena September 10, 09 12:03 PM
  1. Uch. It was a terrible decision to not bring back Paula. It's a terrible decision to hire Ellen. But it's the worst decision of all to keep Kara!

    Posted by Earl September 10, 09 12:23 PM
  1. I haven't found ANY of the Idol judges to be a font of insight. They quickly become one-note, for the most part. We all know their favorite lines/criticisms. Ellen will be fine. Watch her singing Lady Gaga w/John Mayer--she's got her finger on the pulse.

    Posted by graycliffer September 10, 09 12:24 PM
  1. AMERICAN IDLE
    Still not sure why Paula is gone because she generated discussion. Kara is milk toast...pablum...unspectacular: Everything an Idol should not be. ED has no cashe in the music business except that she dances around on her show. Good cop/bad cop was a great motif. A.I. has lost it's spark. Remember, it takes weeks before the real talent emerges. The beginning is predictable teasing...no real performances. Fox must be sad.

    Posted by jkstraw September 10, 09 12:26 PM
  1. I think it's a smart business idea-people who love Ellen, LOVE Ellen and therefore will now watch AI if they didn't before. I doubt people will really stop watching the show in resistance to Ellen's addition, so all Fox has to gain is additional viewers.

    Posted by Maureen September 10, 09 12:27 PM
  1. There goes American Idol ratings....right out the fn window!

    Posted by She's gonna be the worst judge September 10, 09 12:57 PM
  1. The end of an era. Time to let Idol go, it's getting old and boring. The only reality today is "So You Think You Can Dance". Go Cat Go!!
    I love Ellen but she will need to clown around (because that's what she does best) and that will ruin the seriousness of the show.

    Posted by Joe Marino September 10, 09 01:08 PM
  1. Really Paula wasn't that great of a singer either...

    You need someone who can offset Simon - who, btw, is also not a singer. Ellen is a great choice to continue the good cop / bad cop routine that Paula and Simon had. I don't think that she would rip into people and even though she's not a singer, she's performed in front of hecklers... I think Ellen would give genuine praise when it's needed and not be so plastic like Paula was.

    Posted by lolipopp September 10, 09 01:34 PM
  1. When Simon leaves after this season, they will replace him with that guy from the PC/Mac commerical who dates Drew Barrymore. WHATS UP DOGG!!

    Posted by allhailbill September 10, 09 01:56 PM
  1. Ellen is a great choice! If she doesn't belong judging musical talent, then neither do all of those negative commentators above who vote from home. At least she is funny! I've never watched more than 1 or 2 shows of AI - but I will tune in to vote for Ellen

    Posted by Judy September 10, 09 02:02 PM
  1. "AI jumped the shark"

    C'mon, people. American Idol IS the shark.

    Posted by BookieBookie September 10, 09 02:05 PM
  1. Ellen is SO not funny...she's annoying to a lot of people. Idol just jumped the shark...

    Posted by terry September 10, 09 02:07 PM
  1. Really? I'd rather have a box lunch at the Y than watch this stuff.

    Posted by Mars September 10, 09 03:52 PM
  1. She says she is going to be the voice of the people, the ones buying music.
    They already have a huge voice! who do you think VOTES??
    No to ELLEN no way. Bad move.

    Posted by kxs999 September 10, 09 04:16 PM
  1. I don't watch the show very often or for more than a few minutes, but I know enough of it to know that she's the wrong choice. Way off base, and not a replacement for a woman who attracted men to the show. Bad decision.

    Posted by NoIdolHere September 10, 09 04:34 PM
  1. As soon as I see Ellen Degeneres, I change the channel. If it is a commercial, I change the channel. If it is a TV program, I change the channel. I don't find her amusing, nor do I find her entertaining. I have been an Idol fan for years. I just got my winter evenings back. I would rather watch paint dry that see or hear her. I guess Simon Cowell really wanted out of this show -- he said he would leave if the ratings dropped. I'm thinking they are going to be scraping them up from the bottom of the Seinfeld re-runs.

    Posted by JayDee September 10, 09 06:18 PM
  1. One of the biggest blunders in TV history unless those involve change their mind before the season starts. Dengeneres is completely unqualified for the job with absolutely no experience in the music business. Her hiring smacks of a social agenda, one designed to make up for Adam Lambert allegedly losing because of his homosexuality. Prediction: Abdul will return for the 2010-2011 but, like Patrick Duffy's return to Dallas, it will be too late as the show will have jumped the shark.

    Posted by Kirk September 11, 09 12:07 AM
  1. As usual, I will watch the first few weeks for the train wrecks, then won't watch it any more.

    Posted by Mark September 11, 09 09:01 AM
  1. The new judge should:
    Have Experince in music,
    Be Young,
    Be Funny,
    And Be Able to Stand up to Simon.

    Posted by CT Girl September 12, 09 11:13 AM
  1. Tamyra Grey. Been there and has the chops to have something to say.

    Posted by bigmistake September 13, 09 02:11 AM
  1. What the heck does Ellen know about singing, music or performance??? I don't mind her, per se, but this makes no sense. A stupid show gets stupider...

    Posted by Lynnette September 14, 09 03:49 PM
  1. No more Idol for me. Lose Seacrest and kara. Bring back PAULA. Ellen doesn't belong on the panel. She has her OWN show!

    Posted by zenith September 16, 09 01:31 PM
  1. Look, I'm not sure what the hype is all about here. You DO NOT have to be in the music industry, sing well, have had voice lessons, or big hits on the radio, or any of that to see and hear a great singer/entertainer. Paula Abdul did singing/choreography and she went no where. What did she do for the years leading up to being an Idol judge 8 years ago? That's right folks, she did nothing. What qualified her to be a judge? And not for nothing, but bringing Kara Diaguardi on to the show is what began to kill it. That woman is worse than Simon Cowell. She is rude, disrespectful, and proved that she is a tramp when she practically got naked on stage last season. Ellen is sweet, funny, kind, caring, and a great entertainer. The show can't possibly get any worse than it did last season. I have been a faithful watcher since season 1. Kris Allen winning last season is a joke. Adam Lambert should have won by a long shot. I personally think that Ellen will be a breath of fresh air on the show. Can't wait too watch in January!!

    Posted by Ellenrocks September 17, 09 10:12 AM
  1. I'm not sure what all the hype is here. What qualified Paula Abdul to be a judge? What did she do the years leading up to Idol 8 years ago? That's right folks, NOTHING. She had a few hits in the late 80's and then disappeared. And that Kara Diaguardi is a disgrace to the show. She is insensitive, rude, and proved herself to be a floozy last season when she got half naked on the stage during a performance. Real stand-up of her as an American Idol judge. She proves to be the stereotype of what Americans are looked at to be. You don't need singing lessons, or a career in the music industry to be able to hear when someone has talent. And as for the show being cancelled? The show should have been cancelled last season when Kris Allen won. People who have a good ear for talent should have voted for Adam Lambert. Adam not winning is the result of bad taste. I think Ellen will be a breath of fresh air for this show!!

    Posted by Unlucky1 September 17, 09 10:44 AM
 

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Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

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