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Ryan Seacrest says 'American Idol' judges will be announced very shortly


Ryan Seacrest broke "American Idol" news Tuesday while speaking to Ellen DeGeneres on his KIIS-FM morning show.

He said that he is leaving Los Angeles on Sept. 25 or Sept. 26 with "Idol's" new judges to find the contestants that will compete in Hollywood next year for slots on the live shows. (The cattle call auditions end in Los Angeles on Sept. 22).

We know this normally wouldn't qualify as newsworthy, but Fox continues to keep all "Idol" matters a secret, including when it plans to announce the new judges. And, yes, we are aware that by the time we learn officially that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are joining Randy Jackson at the judges' table, the announcement will qualify as the most anticlimactic news of the year.

Unless, of course, the TV media have been wrong for two months.

Seacrest didn't discuss who his travel companions would be. Instead, he talked to DeGeneres about why she left the show after just one season of judging.


"It was fun, and I love the moments that we had," she said. "But it was a really hard thing for me to do for many reasons. I just think that these kids are really taking it so seriously, and for me to make a joke every single time when, really, all they're waiting for is constructive criticism. Not true, honest criticism. They want to be praised. And I found it really difficult to watch them have their dreams shattered on national television. ... And I couldn't make a joke every time. If I made a joke that was not directed at them ... that was fun for me. It was just hard. I didn't want to walk that line."

Seacrest asked her when she knew the show was not the right fit for her.

"The first day was a tough day because it was just a reality check for me to, go, 'Oh wow, this is a whole different machine over here,'" she replied. "And I learned the very first day that Simon [Cowell] quit. And I thought, 'How does this work now?' Because I thought he was there for a while, and I thought we were going to play around and have fun because his persona is one way and mine is another so we were going to play with that. And we never really got to do that. And it was just a whole different machine over there. My show is run in a very singular way, and it's my show. And I went over there, and there were a lot of different components. And like I said, it was really hard. This is not just television. These kids, they really are thinking their lives are going to change right now and my words are going to matter and I was like, 'Oh, this is hard.'"

--Maria Elena Fernandez

Photo: Ryan Seacrest at the Stand Up to Cancer event in Los Angeles on Friday. Credit: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images


Steven Tyler joins "American Idol as a judge

Kara DioGuardi departs "American Idol"

"American Idol's" backup plan with Jennifer Lopez not ready for delivery

Comments () | Archives (4)

Ellen is so full of her self and of "it." Post-Cowell, Idol is going to sink faster than the Titanic. It will be fun though to watch the desperation of the producers and the network execs. Now that would be a great reality tv show.

If Idol would stop asking judges to rehearse some character clown act and BE REAL then the show would be worth watching. I mean look at The Price Is Right, how many decades did it last? and why? because people got a REAL and FAIR chance and sometimes there was a TIE. First commenter is right, this show will sink as fast as the Titanic, unless it loses that dog and pony ACT and GETS REAL. I hope they don't ask Steve Tyler to ACT like a clown or a villian like Cowell the ACTOR and DRAMA creator of the show. Make Idol a REAL show and no REAL judges would have voted for that phoney ACT/song "She Bangs" I mean c'mon Hollywood WTF do you take us for?? This show just insulted my intelligence and I never watched it after "She Bangs" won over honest talented kids who had their hopes and dreams shattered. I'm on Ellen's side when it comes to that. I wouldn't want to be a judge if I had to be an actor for Idol and my job was to insult REAL talented kids and make them cry or jump off the San Fran. bridge. These are REAL people with REAL feelings. And if Idol is reality TV then it NEEDS TO GET REAL. Cmon producers what the chrixt! and Yeah I approve this message. Change the dog and pony act or REAL people won't watch the show. period.

Will someone please replace Seacrest, too? He is the absolute worst. Cat Deeley is free in the late-Winter/early-Spring. Nigel L... are you listening?

American Idol is the entertainment product life cycle in action. The show peaked two years ago. Simon knew it, Paula knew it, and Kara figured it out too. So they fled. Idol put them on the map, now they're off to do bigger and better things. So we get the has-beens of the music industry to shepherd the remnants of the show until cancellation. We should have seen this coming.


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