Ellen DeGeneres moonlights as fourth 'Idol' judge, keeps chat show
By April MacIntyre Sep 10, 2009, 1:53 GMT
08/30/2009 - Ellen DeGeneres - "DeGeneres will sit alongside Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi and offer her own unique perspective to the contestants throughout the competition," FOX said in a press statement. © Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos
"American Idol" has thrown a refreshing curve-ball. Comic and chat show host Ellen DeGeneres is filling in the void left by departing judge Paula Abdul as the fourth judge on FOX's reality juggernaut.
"DeGeneres will sit alongside Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi and offer her own unique perspective to the contestants throughout the competition," FOX said in a press statement.
The audition tapings were hosted by a phalanx of stars from music, TV and film. Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Jonas, Shania Twain, Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige and Kristin Chenoweth weighed in with the regular judges in various American cities.
Just because Ellen is booked for Idol, don't think she is slacking. "I'm going to have a day job and a night job," DeGeneres said Wednesday. The Ellen DeGeneres Show will continue along with her Idol duties.
Abdul's salary negotiations went south in August and she chose to leave the series, now heading into its ninth season.
January 2010 is the start date for the new season. "Idol's" executive producer Simon Fuller says, "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."