Well, color me shocked! It was announced Thursday on the official American Idol website that Ellen DeGeneres will be stepping down from her role as judge on the popular singing competition.
“A couple months ago, I let FOX and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” DeGeneres said in a statement. “I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on Idol and I am very grateful for the year I had. I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”
DeGeneres had originally signed a reported five-year contract with Idol. However, I'm not really surprised that they're allowing her to leave after one season.
I remember prior to her appearing on Idol, DeGeneres had said that she would be telling the contestants the truth, and would be coming from the angle of being a fan of music and not completely relying on her comedic background. For the most part of season nine, she did the exact opposite, and came off as a more coherent version of Paula Abdul.
As much as the Idol contestants need a cheerleader at times, they also could have used a judge that could have told them the truth without being mean or rude about it. I think that DeGeneres attempted in the beginning of the season to be this person, and at some point she decided to not give actual useful critiques, instead handing the contestant off to the wolves, Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell.
I do think this is a really smart move for DeGeneres in deciding to walk away from Idol. I love her as a daytime talk show host, but as an Idol judge, not so much.
Now that DeGeneres has announced her decision to leave, the rumors have been swirling over her replacement, let alone all the buzz over who is going to replace Simon Cowell.