Ellen DeGeneres Joins 'American Idol'

By: Brodie
9.10.2009

Did anyone see this coming? One would assume Ellen DeGeneres had her hands full with her enormously popular, multi-Emmy-award-winning talk show, American Express endorsements, charity work ... oh, and still somewhat newly wedded bliss with her beautiful and talented wife, Portia de Rossi. Apparently DeGeneres has more Ryan Seacrest-level aspirations than any of us realized, as she announced Wednesday she'll be joining Fox's reality competition and ratings bonanza American Idol as a judge.
Although any fan is pleased at the prospect of more DeGeneres in their weekly TV schedule, even the biggest Ellen fans find the casting an odd fit. DeGeneres is not in the music industry, for starters, and it's a competition based on finding the next popular recording star. Fox reality show fans also recall being disappointed with DeGeneres’s sole appearance as a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance, where the comedian’s charms translated into little concrete critique of the performers. Additionally, her beloved, nice-as-pie persona works wonders as a chat host, but AI viewers want to see honest, critical feedback from the judges.

 

DeGeneres dancing with (not judging) the SYTYCD top ten on her season 7 premiere

While faithful Idol fans worry about the new season, it is worth mentioning that one of the most famous gay entertainers is joining a hugely successful television phenomenon. Undoubtedly, more beneficial representation and content will follow, because DeGeneres has proved herself to be a thoughtful and vigilant advocate. Entertainment Weekly writer Michael Slezak is hoping "at the very least ... Simon [Cowell] and Ryan [Seacrest] will once and for all ditch their regularly scheduled homophobic banter now that they’ve got a (powerful) lesbian colleague in their presence."
So, though there is trepidation in the Idol nation, don't forget -- Ellen DeGeneres is THAT good and will probably pleasantly surprise us all. Except for the really loyal Paula Abdul diehards."I hope Paula is OK with it," DeGeneres said on Ryan Seacrest's morning radio show. "I don't want anybody to think that I took Paula's job away."

Tell us: What do you think of Ellen joining Idol?

Image courtesy of Getty

Tags: TV
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