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Critics and celebrities weigh in on new 'Idol' judge Ellen DeGeneres

Degeneres-2 "American Idol's" newest judge is getting a few critiques of her own.

Over a month after "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul tweeted her exit from "American Idol," Fox ended speculation Wednesday about who would permanently fill Abdul's spot with the announcement of Ellen DeGeneres as the talent competition's newest addition.

"This is so exciting for me," DeGeneres said Wednesday at a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" airing Thursday.

But is everyone excited about DeGeneres? Check out our rundown of initial reactions from Hollywood -- from her fellow judge Randy Jackson to Kelly Ripa -- and tell us your thoughts on "Idol's" new judge by voting in our poll:

Is Ellen a good pick for "Idol"?(opinion)

Reactions after the jump!

Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times: "I might even watch 'American Idol' now."

Randy Jackson to "Fox & Friends": "[Ellen] can be the voice of the people among us. I think between me, Simon and Kara [DioGuardi], there's enough musical experts to go around right there."

Michael Slezak, Entertainment Weekly: "I can’t shake the deep fear that American Idol is adding cream puff to the menu when we really need some bitter lemon."

Ryan Seacrest: "Wow all went down fast. yes ellen d will be coming to idol. she and paula are both very good friends of mine."

Richard Rushfield, Gawker: "How she fares will depend very much though, not just on talent, but how seriously she takes the sacred responsibility that has been thrust upon her."

Kelly Ripa, "Live with Regis & Kelly": "It's a great choice because ... she's funny and she's got a heart."

James Poniewozik, Time: "My first reaction was: surprise, bogglement and skepticism. Which honestly, probably means that it's an excellent choice, at least from the standpoint of getting viewers."

Sharon Osbourne to People: "She will be a breath of fresh air on that show, a complete breath of fresh air. It's new blood. And [American Idol] needed something new to happen."

Andrew Belonsky, Gawker: "We too are thrilled thrilled, because it's just plain wonderful DeGeneres got this gig. First, she fulfills something we feared would be lost in Abdul's absence: genuine niceness."

Ramin Setoodeh, Newsweek: "Ellen will have all of Paula's strengths.... But she won't have any of Paula's weaknesses."

Nick Cannon to People: ""I know she's going to do amazing with that. When you're too serious, it's never fun. She knows how to have fun."

Brian Lowry, Variety: "DeGeneres would appear to be an ideal fit -- a genuine fan whose enthusiasm for the show is obvious, but also somebody who can ventilate some of its self-importance and Simon Cowell's trademark pomposity with humor instead of merely rolling her eyes."

Andy Cohen, Bravo: "I love her but I don't GET it."

James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter: "Signing DeGeneres is a good get for Fox ... and an odd choice for 'Idol.' Being an 'Idol' judge means taking quite seriously a show that is, in some respects, overstuffed and absurd. It's tough to predict how DeGeneres' humor will mesh with that."

Perez Hilton: "Whosever idea this was deserves a HUGE pay raise! Inspired choice."

Josef Adalian, The Wrap: "Landing DeGeneres -- who's more famous than anyone on the current panel, save Simon Cowell -- is a coup for 'Idol.'"

Verne Gray, Newsday: "I expected someone a little younger, frankly, AND someone with a musical background AND someone who would try to replicate that coquettish thing that Paula had with [Simon Cowell]."

MJ Santilli, MJsbigblog.com: "So, is she going to be a real judge or some kind of joke? She’s a comedian, not a singer or a musician. I’m kinda flummoxed here."

Alan Sepinwall, Newark Star-Ledger: "In many ways, Ellen is a great choice. She's obviously comfortable on camera, doesn't have a big ego (or, at least, never comes across as having one), and, as she says in those quotes (and as is clear if you watch her talk show), she loves 'Idol' and understands how it works."

Terry Morrow, Knoxville News Sentinel: "This has to be one of the dumbest moves in the history of television."

-- Kate Stanhope

Photo credit: PRNewsFoto

Comments () | Archives (20)

I think Ellen can bring new stuff too the table when it comes too American Idol, and I didn't know Randy Jackson was going too be on American Idol as a judge. I'm going too watch the FULL American Idol season if this is TRUE! :)

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Simon Cowell continually makes the point that "Idol" is a singing competition.
So what the hell is a lightweight comedienne doing on the show, making judgments that could affect peoples' careers?

Totally sucks.

All this nonsense about having to be a musical expert to judge on Idol is nuts. You need to be an expert to perform - not to know if a performer is good or not. If that were so, pop charts will not be based on sales but based on expert opinion. The only thing that matters is - how does it sound to the listener. Ellen will be a great addition to the show!

Have no one watched her guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance? She wasn't doing any judging but making irrelevant jokes. She was trying to make it the Ellen show instead of focusing on the dancers.

Will she do the same on Idol of she's actually full time and not a guest judge? And does she know anything about music industry?

That's my 2 cents.

Too funny... In any event, a comedian judging a talent contest will just be too funny... We are not going to be able to see any more arguments from Paula. Ellen will rehearse here comedy with Simon and the rest... Ellen will not come in to work and find talent all drunk... It was all natural from Paula when she fought Simon. Now it will be make believe. Oh well, let the comedy come into American Idol.

So what will happen to her daytime show? Is it going to continue? I think the daytime show is definitely a better fit for her. I feel like she'll get lost in the Idol machine. Then again, I didn't think Kara would last, and unfortunately, she has. Bring Paula back!!

expect that ratings will skyrocket. Fresh choice. But will her talk show get short shrift?

That woman is BORING, i never watch her show, she has the same artificial cute smiley face if she is boring or sad. Also she sides these prop8 loosers who try to redefine mariage. Back to the subject does she have any experience such as singing? At least Paula WAS a singer

I will now continue to watch Idol...I wasn't too sure! It's not just about singing...it's about performing and nobody does performance better than Ellen!

I'm thrilled! I love Ellen, and she obviously loves the show. Plus, she's funny and she's nice. She'll fill that mother Hen role that Paula filled as well as bring something different to the show. Yay!!!!

Here we go with the homophobia again, it never ceases to amaze me. Who cares whether she's into music or not the American people are the real judges they are the ones who actually pick the winner. Ellen with add a lot of spice to the show.

I have now lost a lot of respect for Ellen (whom I loved). As a musician, I find Idol disgusting, and part of what is so WRONG with the music industry these days. I just can't believe she is on it (however, she'll be the smartest person on that Panel).

So, this really makes me sad.

I think Ellen will be wonderful on IDOL - she is one of the most down-to-earth, honest, fun-loving person there is on TV right now and i know she will bring a lot to the show. I wasn't going to watch after Paula left, but now i will be cuz Ellen is my favorite host. GOOD CHOICE!!!

Awesome choice...American Idol will be fun to watch!
Ellen will rock that show.

Idol just lost a loyal watcher. No loss, really, but I just don't think Ellen is funny.

Okay, well, I love the fact that Ellen is going to be on "Idol."

First, it's not like Paula added anything musical to the judging panel, anyway.

Second, Ellen can give the People's version of how the contestants performed. She doesn't have a huge musical background, but she can give the layman's version of how the performance went.

Third, who doesn't love Ellen?

Ellen is a surprising choice but I believe that she will do

I cannot image Ellen as an AI judge. Hello, she styles herself as a comedienne. I personally question that moniker. Bad move, Fox.

Who doesn't love Ellen? I don't. I never have; not since that insipid sitcom on FOX about the realtor's office where she was the ditzy receptionist. Based on SYTYCD, she'll be a boring, ill-informed awful judge who will be a waste of the time alloted to her sniveling drivel. I may have to skip AI from now on.


This is the STUPIDEST, most completely insane move in the history of Idol. Ellen as an Idol judge makes no sense at all. She's going to be like a kazoo in a symphony orchestra. And what right does a comedian have to crush the dreams of aspiring singers? Ellen is also too big a name, and her presence is going to disrupt the show and steal the spotlight from the show's REAL stars: Simon, Randy, Ryan, and Kara. Besides, she already has her own show; let the Idol cast have theirs.


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