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American Idol Fodder

Ellen Joins "American Idol"

She sings. She dances. And now Ellen DeGeneres will judge.

DeGeneres, the popular daytime television host and comedian who famously loves to rock out to her favorite songs on air, recently signed on as "American Idol's" fourth judge. DeGeneres will join judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi, as well as host Ryan Seacrest.

She takes over for Paula Abdul who decided not to renew her contract earlier this summer. Abdul had been in contract negotiations with "Idol" producers, but opted to call it quits.

In an interview with USA Today, Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment at Fox, defended the network's choice for Abdul's replacement and said he expects DeGeneres to be funny.

"People get cynical about TV shows that never change. It's important to keep "Idol" vital. Bringing in Ellen, the only person we pursued, does that," Darnell said in the article.

DeGeneres told host Ryan Seacrest she won't be mean and will react more like the viewers who follow at home, according to USA Today. She said she can "criticize someone (in a way) that's helpful and not mean-spirited."

According to EW.com, Paula Abdul is happy with the replacement, saying Ellen is "wildly funny and talented in her own right." -Chris Sardelli


Posted by Chris on September 14, 2009 12:32 PM
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