3rd Update: Ryan Seacrest reacts to Ellen’s departure, via twitter, “Spoke with ellen d tonight aka @theellenshow??. I will miss her on idol. She’s one of the kindest and most talented people in hollywood!”
2nd Update: As recent as last week, THR reports, Ellen’s reps told them she “was still willing to fulfill her multi-year contract with the show.”
Update: Simon Cowell makes a statement about Ellen’s departure to The Hollywood Reporter: “As I got to know Ellen, I grew to really, really like her. I have huge respect for her because she’s always been in control of her own destiny.”
Filling Simon Cowell‘s seat on American Idol was already a tough task –- now another chair is there for the taking.
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who became a full-time judge on the show during its ninth season, is bowing out of the series, PEOPLE has learned.
“A couple months ago, I let FOX and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me, ” she says 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.”
DeGeneres adds, “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.”
Statement from Simon Fuller: “I loved Ellen’s passion for the artists and her nurturing skills. She brought honesty and optimism to our judging panel and I will miss her greatly.”
Statement from Peter Rice, FOX Entertainment Cheif: “We love Ellen and understand and support her decision to bow out of Idol. We were fortunate to receive the humor, energy and love for talent that she brought to the show.”
I had doubts about Ellen from the get go. She had no background in the music business. Her stint as So You Think You Can Dance judge really really sucked. There were questions about whether she could critique talent honestly, and it turned out she couldn’t.
Not only didn’t she add anything to the panel, she was like the odd duck, never really gelling with her fellow panelists. Chemistry was sorely lacking amongst the judges this year. It’s got to be the #1 consideration when TPTB put this panel back together again for Season 10.
So what do you think? Should the entire panel be overhauled? Should we go back to a 3 judge panel? (I vote YES) Who would you like to see on the panel?