American Idol questions unanswered

The big question up until now, with regard to “American Idol”, was “Who will replace Simon Cowell?” Although that question still remains unanswered, another question has joined the queue – “Who will replace Ellen DeGeneres?” Ellen left the show even though she had 4 more years left on her contract.

With one well established judge and one people friendly judge gone, there were also rumors that Kara DioGuardi had been fired leaving three spots vacant on the judging panel. The chairman of Fox Entertainment, Peter Rice, refused to comment on that matter which in turn gave the rumor more substance. When asked about the rumors that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler had been tied up as replacement judges, Rice said that no such deals had been signed.

The show has been in trouble for a few years now as viewership has steadily declined. In the last 4 years it has lost a total of six million viewers and this was probably a key reason for lynchpin judge Simon Cowell to leave the show. The drop has also seen Idol valiantly defending its number one spot in the ratings.

There have been rumors that Nigel Lythgoe would come back to the show in order to conduct massive make-overs, but Rice refused to comment on this story as well. He did say that big changes would be in place for the next season of Idol but did not elaborate further. The only thing he did admit to was that the judges would be in place when auditions get underway in mid-September.

Ellen Judges Herself in American Idol

The long awaited debut of Ellen DeGeneres on American Idol was… a hit! In the days leading up to the show, fans were very much divided in their opinion on Ellen’s inclusion as the fourth judge. But happily for Ellen, her performance was good enough to keep the fans and the show’s creator Simon Fuller more than happy. The show also did very well in the ratings game.

However the real test for Ellen was her own critical self-analysis. Passing that was her major concern and in reflection she said “I was honest with them (the singers). I was concerned about tiptoeing around too much, but I didn’t”.

Congratulatory tweets, messages and phone calls after the show have vindicated any fears that Ellen might have had about her performance; even Simon Fuller was quoted as saying that he was “really, really happy”.

The Idol debut marks another good day for Ellen as her daytime talk show was also renewed for a further three years. The much expected war of words between her and über judge Simon Cowell did not materialize, but Ellen did hint that this was not how it was going to be. She said that Hollywood Week was all about the difficult task of pruning the 181 contestant to just 24 which did not leave much time for banter between the judges. She also said that she didn’t know how things will turn out in the later live stages of the show, describing it as “That’s going to be an intersting thing”.

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