Ellen DeGeneres is known for her talk show and her comedy, not for her musical talent. That will change this year as she joins the judges panel on American Idol, taking the spot of Paula Abdul.
American Idol has had the hard task in finding a replacement for Abdul that would not drive audience members away. Abdul had been with the series since the beginning and was an audience favorite.
DeGeneres will join Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi when the season begins. She is not part of the team for the auditions.
The Guardian reports:
"I'm thrilled to be the new judge on American Idol," said DeGeneres. "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."
American Idol had already lined by several guest judges for the coming season which include Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Shania Twain.
The news that DeGeneres is taking the vacant seat is not without some critics. After all she is not known in music circles for her talent. Critic Alan Sepinwall voiced his concerns in the Chicago Tribune:
"Take Kara - and/or the equally useless Randy Jackson - out of the mix, and this probably all sorts itself out nicely by the end of the semi-final round. Leave four judges in there, and make one of them an incredibly high-profile newbie, and this has the potential to be awkward for at least half a season, if not more."
The answer as to if a non-musical judge will fit will have to wait until next year when the show returns. What do you think? Was Ellen the right choice for the show or should American Idol have gone with someone in the industry?