Huge Idol Shake-Ups: Ellen Quit, Kara Fired? J. Lo Hired?

Wow! What a difference overnight press releases make! First came the news that Ellen DeGeneres had quit American Idol, claiming it was "not a right fit" for her. Which…yeah totally true. She was absolutely not a right fit as a judge and contributed in part to the lackluster season. On her own website, DeGeneres released this statement regarding her departure:

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.

Good for her at least for recognizing her limitations. Someone who could use similar self-awareness is Kara DioGuardi, who came aboard the Idol train in 2009, was not very popular with fans (and often gave completely wrong-headed, nonsense critiques) and still came back for another go-around in 2010. Now, TMZ is reporting that DioGuardi has been fired! TMZ also added this titbit: that the new judges panel will consist of Steven Tyler!, Jennifer Lopez!! and well…yeah, Randy Jackson (who really should have been the first to leave. Ellen and Kara were useless for one and two seasons respectively; Randy has been useless since the beginning of the show, IMO).

While the Tyler/Lopez additions are just rumors right now, the Jennifer Lopez rumor seems to have the most traction (although that could be because she’s still a sexy super-star while Steven Tyler is a "who?" to the Justin Bieber set). Lopez potentially joining Idol was first reported by Deadline.

If all of these rumors are true, then Idol may actually have a chance to reboot in 2011. The departure of Simon Cowell will still be a huge blow, but lord knows Steven Tyler and J Lo are guaranteed to 1) be more entertaining and more useful than Randy and Kara and 2) fill the gap left by Paula Abdul who — whatever one may think of her "talents" — at least knew what it was like to be a pop star at one point. That pop star cred was sorely lacking this past season, which many thought was Idol’s worst (capped off by a thoroughly unremarkable winner).

The only thing that has been completely confirmed is that Ellen has left the show. I like Ellen, but she really wasn’t a good fit for Idol and unlike some people, she actually had the good sense to realize that and bow out gracefully. Your exit is everything in pop culture; better to quit with class than be fired. And that is precisely why Ellen will go on and still be cool, while Kara will likely be a Trivial Pursuit joke for years to come.





11 Responses

  1. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    J-Lo—-judging someone ELSE’S talent??? Lord, take the wheel!!! Ellen is too good for this show!! “American Idol” is a sinking ship that hasn’t been interesting or entertaining in YEARS!! I think I echo the sentiments of MILLIONS of viewers when I say: Who REALLY cares anymore???

    And I like Kara, who seems like a sweetheart with a wonderful heart, but she is USELESS!!! Time for her to go back to writing crappy songs for C-list musicians like she did before her “big break”!! Good luck to her if this rumor is true!!!

  2. Profile photo of Silver44

    [quote] 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.

    Has she never seen this show before. What did she expect!?!

    If the best they can do is get JLO and Steven Tyler to replace Simon, then stick a fork in them this show is done.

  3. Profile photo of craigcp

    Screw Idol I’m going over to Simon new show the X-Factor, sounds more hip more with it, idol kids don’t know what the hell they are singing, some weren’t even born when the songs came out; wish Paula and Randy would just go over there. Ellen and Kara single handily ruined the show. And FIRE Ryan Seacrest, he was the one that was nasty, he’s a major premadona douche bag. Or I’m on the cancel ban wagon.

  4. Profile photo of EricasEvilTwin

    They should fire seacrest and replace him with someone from the music biz and a sort of host/4th judge – maybe harry connick.

    The should replace Randy with someone like quincy jones.

    I LOVE the idea of JLo and Steven Tyler although my first thought was gene simmons.

  5. Profile photo of Akash Nikolas
    Akash Nikolas

    Guys, I understand that some people are "over" Idol now (and I for one thought this past season was terrible), and that the show may take a huge blow post-Simon, but calls for the show to end — or rhetoricals like "Does anyone care about this show anymore?" — are so obviously subjective because it remains THE NUMBER ONE SHOW in the country. Even with the dip in ratings, even with DWTS beating it on some nights, it still remains currently the ALL-ROUND NUMBER ONE SHOW. It’s here to stay, at least for another season.

    And while it is, I think there are definitely things they could do to make it better. Maybe they won’t recover from the loss of Simon (time will tell) but you know what? Ditching Ellen and Kara and adding — at the very least — two people who know what it’s like to be pop music stars is a step in the right direction. The only way this decision could have been better was if they ditched Randy too.

    I for one an intrigued by how this will play out, and grateful for the shake-up.

  6. Profile photo of GHvetfan

    I am interested to see how this will play out. Change can be good but scary. I am wondering how they are doing the tapings of the tryouts without judges. Are they using producers?

  7. Profile photo of keanna

    I agree, after this past season where the ratings were down, it may be time to cancel it.

    Or maybe, they change the format and get actually talent, but without Simon (and it’s true he was the reason you watched idol), Fox should just cut their losses.

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