American Idol Upheaval: Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi Out, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler In?

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American Idol is apparently cleaning house.

Talk of who will fill Simon Cowell's vacant seat on the hit show's panel now shifts to who will replace the other two departing judges: Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi will not be returning next season either, according to reports.

DeGeneres, who joined the show in its ninth season earlier this year, confirmed in a statement that she told Fox it "didn’t feel like the right fit for me.”

“I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and would hold off until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next," she said. "It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for.”

The class act added: “I loved the experience working on Idol, am very grateful for the year I had, am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”

In the same statement, American Idol creator and executive producer Simon Fuller says, “I loved Ellen’s passion for the artists and her nurturing skills. She brought honesty and optimism to our judging panel and I will miss her greatly."

AI Crew

Next year's American Idol roster will look a lot different.

But here's where it gets interesting: TMZ reports that Kara DioGuardi has been fired from the program, which will return to a three-judge format.

Fox has not acknowledged Kara's departure in a statement, but it appears it's all but official. That leaves Randy Jackson as the last man standing.

The show will reportedly be going back to a three-judge panel of Randy and a couple of high-profile newcomers: Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

This so-called "nuclear option" of blowing up nearly the entire panel has been kicked around for months, but nevertheless comes as a surprise.

Stars ranging from Harry Connick, Jr., to Bret Michaels, Chris Isaak and even Jessica Simpson have been rumored to be negotiating for the job.

Looks like J. Lo and the Aerosmith frontman won out.

The only way Kara could be asked back would be if the Lopez deal fell apart, but TMZ's sources claim it is already a done deal. Crazy stuff!

What do you think of the new panel? With Simon gone, will a Randy-Steven-J.Lo tandem usher in stronger ratings in Season 10?

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Kara's foot was on the way out the door when she started posing nude. AI is still family orientated and showing skin for all the world to see does not add up to a wholesome image for the young American Idol contestants.Stay tuned!!

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A step up I say..but they could have kept Kara!! I like 4 judges. I love the J-Lo, and we'll just have to see how Tyler will do?? We may wish for Ellen.LOL!!

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OMG! NOT Jennifer and NOT Steven! Love them both BUT, not for Idol.
I THOUGHT Bret Michaels was a shoo in for this position! He is sensitive , honest and caring...
What really happened to Kara? SHe did a good job AND I did love Ellen on the show.. and did not think I would. SO just goes to show ya... one never knows.
This is one of my fave shows and I want it to go on and on so I will watch it no matter what... RANDY.. SO HAPPY your still on .. you have always been my fave... hang in there Dooggg...!

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Kara has always been WAY TO FULL OF HERSELF! Bye-Bye Kara
Simon you love to hate...will sort of miss him
Ellen sweet Ellen my husband and I would laugh everytime she gave her opinion, she was total MISFIT for this how. Love to watch her show though.
I think JLo will do just fine
Steven Tyler, checks his bags before he sits down, NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED, makes silly people go STUPID things on National TV no less.
Randy, he is a great guy with a heart, happy he is staying.
Do not put Jessica Simpson on for pete sake, she is a flippin train wreck.

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Glad Kara is going..she was beautiful to look at but too full of herself. She drove me crazy. Ellen ....who cares..not me. Don't watch her show...don't like her. Harry Connick Jr. was the first person I thought of to replace Simon. He's to the point doesn't jack around and is damn easy on the eyes. Thank the Lord Randy is still there...Idol better test the personalities before they sign anyone. Still miss Paula..I know she's ditzy but she did know what she was talking about musically.

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I am glad Kara is gone. Couldn't stand her. She was always up in simon's face, she did everything but crawl in his lap. Good ridens. The show needs to go to.

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Time for idol to bid a fond farewell as well. Its been a nice run but its reaching and you feel it struggling.

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Oh DOG!! (pun intended) Why can't they get rid of Randy toooo!!!! WTH with Steven Tyler? Will he stay sober? I can't even imagine what he will be like. JLo I think will be boring. I actually think Jessica Simpson might have been funny, she's the queen of too much information. I REALLY wanted Chris Isaak, he's witty, hilarious and very smart. He would have brought a new edge (and prob new viewers) to the show.

American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]
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