UPDATE: Ryan Seacrest interviews Ellen on his KIIS LA Radio show: Ellen DeGeneres on Kiis
The Los Angeles Times posted some interesting background information on Ellen DeGeneres’s deal to become the 4th judge on American Idol.
It hasn’t been decided whether she’ll join the panel for the pre-taped Hollywood week in the fall. She first came to Idol producers attention when she guest judged for So You Think You Can Dance over the summer (I can’t believe Ellen’s underwhelming appearance impressed them). And, Warner Brothers, the company that produces her talk show, Ellen, had her extend her contract through 2014 before they gave the deal their blessing.
The deal was not finalized until late last week.
A night’s sleep didn’t change my mind–I’m still sour on the idea of Ellen as the permanent 4th judge. I think she’s hilarious and a great talk show host, but don’t see her value as a judge. There was way too much focus on the judges’ panel last year, adding an a-list comedian will exacerbate what I see as one of the major flaws in the show right now. The kids should be front and center.
Also, I expect Ellen to be nice to the point of tedium, not wanting to alienate anybody–cause hey, she’s got a talk show to run, she can’t risk pissing off the fans! Both Jim Cantiello HERE and Michael Slezak HERE point out that if Ellen were truly representing the fan sitting in her living room, she’d actually be quite nasty at times. Based on her lame SYTYCD guest judging stint, Ellen has the potential to be a real snooze–offering lame jokes and toothless critiques that eat up time better given over to, you know, more singing.
Really, my perfect scenario would have been to ditch the 4-judge panel all together after Paula left. But, the opportunity for buzz and a little controversy was more than the producers could resist. There will be viewers tuning in come January just to see how Ellen handles her new job…
I predict an end to the 1 hour performance show to accommodate all the extra yaking on the judges panel this season–that’s how TPTB will deal with last year’s time overrun issues.
More stuff from around the net: Oh, look who got quoted in this Associated Press story. Ha ha. Craig Berman from MSNBC has some interesting thoughts here. Remember Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football? Eep.