The producers of Fox’s “American Idol” took an unexpected turn and tapped talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, a self-described big fan of the show, as "Idol’s" fourth judge, filling the seat held since the show’s beginning by Paula Abdul.
“Think of all the money I’ll save from not having to text in my vote,” DeGeneres said in part in her statement announcing she was joining the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She’ll come on board after the audition episodes, which have already lined up a long list of guest judges.
There was immediate chatter on the Internet about Ellen representing the "fan’s perspective" on the show. Commented one Hollywood wag to TVWeek about that idea, "Does the show need that? I thought the fan’s perspective was represented by the millions who vote each week on which contestants go and stay."
This morning the Associated Press is reporting that the reaction by ‘Idol’ fans in the blogosphere is decidedly mixed about the choice of Ellen to replace Paula.
Finally, here’s a great video clip from earlier this year when Simon Cowell was on Ellen’s TV show. Ellen get right down to it immediately and starts quizzing Cowell about whether it’s a good idea for "Idol" to have four judges. Thanks to TMZ for finding the clip.
–Elizabeth Jensen and Chuck Ross