Friday, July 30, 2010

Ellen Bows Out of American Idol -- Who Will Replace Her?

Simon Cowell Kara DioGuardi Ellen DeGeneres Randy Jackson American Idol judges panel leaving photos images pictures photos screencapsThe big news today is that the newest American Idol judge, Ellen DeGeneres, is leaving the show after just one year on the panel. AC's May Monten has all the details on Ellen's departure, and Ellen's declaration that it just wasn't the "right fit". I always thought it was something of a surprising decision on Ellen's part to join American Idol, considering her current success as both a comedian and talk show host--not to mention her lack of professional music knowledge and experience.

MSNBC has a great article by Craig Berman on why Ellen's reign failed. Despite all the criticism that Ellen received before the American Idol season even began, I had thought there was a chance she'd bring a lot of life to the party. In early interviews, she seemed ready to spar with Simon, and also determined to offer the contestants constructive criticism.

Unfortunately, as Berman points out, Ellen never lived up to her potential. There may have been behind-the-scenes drama, because Ellen seemed like a different person once she was up there on the American Idol panel. Though she started fairly strong, eventually her appearances were reduced to repetitive one-liners and bizarre flirtations with Simon. (Shouldn't she have been flirting with Kara? That might have gotten the ratings up.)

Ellen also seemed excited about doing the show with Simon, so her enthusiasm for the venture no doubt waned once he announced he was jumping ship. Most critics also agree that AI had one of its worst seasons so far, so it's not surprising that Ellen wants to leave. There've been some rumblings on the Web that it was a mutual break-up, since Ellen's popularity still didn't hold off the substantial ratings slip AI suffered this year.

ETA: News flash! MTV reports that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler might be the next American Idol judges!

ETA2: TMZ reports that Kara is out, and Jennifer and Steven are in!

(previous conjecture continues:)There have been countless rumors floating around about possible new American Idol judges: People magazine lists Justin Timberlake and Elton John as possibilities, along with Shania Twain, Harry Connick Jr., and Chris Isaak. I'd be happy with any of these choices, though I think Justin is the least likely due to his current pop icon schedule. Shania and Harry have already proven themselves as entertaining guest judges and mentors on American Idol, and I suspect Sir Elton wouldn't be afraid to speak his mind to the contestants. Chris Isaak is talented, successful, respected in the industry, and has a fabulous dry sense of humor. (He's also pretty darn cute.)

Recent rumors also point to Jessica Simpson as a possible American Idol judge. I could only tolerate this if she would tone down the stupid act that she's played up in the past to fit her "airhead blonde" persona.

It will be interesting to see if American Idol sticks with the somewhat crowded four-person panel or goes back to a trio. Apparently Kara DioGuardi's contract hasn't yet been renewed, so there's still no official word on if she'll be returning. Will we get an all-new panel for next year's American Idol? Who would you vote for?

ETA: News flash! MTV reports that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler might be the next American Idol judges!

ETA2: TMZ reports that Kara is out, and Jennifer and Steven are in!

PHOTO: The 2010 American Idol panel, Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi, and Randy Jackson ; c2010 Michael Becker, FOX.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blog Widget by LinkWithin