ellendegeneres americaidol 290 'American Idol': Ellen DeGeneres replaces Paula Abdul as fourth judgeTalk-show host Ellen DeGeneres has been named as the fourth “American Idol” judge.

FOX announced this evening that Ellen will be joining Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson on the “American Idol” judging panel in the wake of Paula Abdul’s departure. She will join the panel after the initial auditions, so I’m hoping that means she is there for Hollywood Week.

DeGeneres had this to say: “I’m thrilled to be the new judge on American Idol. I’ve watched since the beginning, and I’ve always been
a huge fan. So getting this job is a dream come true, and think of all
the money I’ll save from not having to text in my vote.”

“I could not be more excited to have
Ellen join the “American Idol” family,” said creator and executive producer
Simon Fuller. “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. I can’t wait for this next season
to begin.”

From the FOX press release: “A beloved television icon and
entertainment pioneer, DeGeneres’ distinctive comic voice has resonated with
audiences from her first stand-up comedy appearances through her work today on
television, in film and in the literary world. DeGeneres has made a home for
herself in the daytime arena with her hit syndicated talk show, ‘The Ellen
DeGeneres Show.’ The show, now entering its seventh season, won the Daytime
Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host four years in a row and has earned a total
of 29 Daytime Emmy Awards.

She has some previous judging experience, as she was on the panel for “So You Think You Can Dance” this past summer. I particularly enjoyed Ellen and Mia Michaels judging together; that was a treat.

I think Ellen will most certainly bring the funny as an “American Idol” judge. My only concern is, having watched her do “So You Think You Can Dance,” that she won’t know when to be serious and give helpful critiques.

Ellen herself weighed in on her new job from the set of her talk show. Check it out:

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Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."