Yup! Ellen DeGeneres announced yesterday during a taping of her syndicated talk show that she will be the AI judge replacing Paula Abdul. She’s signed a five-year contract and will balance her night job as a judge with her daytime one as talk show host. DeGeneres isn’t new to the Idol platform; she’s co-hosted the shows charity special Idol Gives Back in 2007 with Ryan Seacrest.
And people are, like, SOO angry about it! MTV says reviews are “at best a mixed reaction…”. At best. So basically, based on what I read in the comments below MTV’s article, they’re not good. “She’s a comedian” they say. Ellen says she’ll function as a voice of the people. The people say there’s no need for that. (And in a way they have a point: once contestants are past auditions, the people can start submitting their votes) MJ Santilli of MJsBigBlog.com, a popular AI blog, says that Ellen needs to brush up on some things before November. If you remember, Ellen did a stint on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance as a guest judge and it didn’t go over so well (wasn’t that funny…more like awkward).
I see what they’re saying, but I like Ellen as the fourth judge. I get that “the people” can vote, but sometimes, the audience needs a little budge in the right direction of who to vote for as a consumer of the music. The other judges give the audience a nudge too, but they do so as critical industry professionals. I think it’ll be a good change. But I do agree with concerns in the MTV article that noted Ellen’s (hopefully funny) remarks might make the show run long – one thing I can’t stand about Idol‘s past seasons.