Ellen DeGeneres has decided NOT to return as a judge on American Idol next season. FOX sent out a press release this afternoon confirming the news. Also off the panel, Kara Dioguardi.
So who will they bring in to replace them?
Well, it looks like we’ll be seeing Ms. From the Block, [lastfm]Jennifer Lopez[/lastfm], and [lastfm]Steven Tyler[/lastfm] of [lastfm]Aerosmith[/lastfm] sitting in the judges chairs.
Ellen joined Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell for the ninth season of the show, which culminated in the crowning of Lee DeWyze as the 2010 American Idol. There have been rumors swirling about who will replace Cowell, who announced he would be leaving the show last summer.
This past week, some other names were floated around as potential judges. [lastfm]Justin Timberlake[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Elton John[/lastfm] rumors were squashed on Wednesday, but [lastfm]Jessica Simpson[/lastfm] is still a possible contender. Oh, and SYTYCD judge Nigel Lythgoe may return as executive-producer of Idol.
Anyway, more on Ellen…
Ellen released this statement via Twitter:
“A couple months ago, I let Fox and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. 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.”