by Hilton Hater at . Comments

American Idol Season 12 comes to a close next week.

But with ratings in a free fall and change undoubtedly on the way, talk is already heating up over who should judge American Idol Season 13.

And following his stint as a mentor last Wednesday, many are asking: Will Harry Connick Jr. join the panel in 2014?

"I had a good time mentoring," the singer told Ellen DeGeneres yesterday before serenading her with a song (below), adding: "Judging is a whole different deal… I haven't talked to anybody [about it]."

What do YOU think? Should Harry Connick Jr. judge American Idol?

 

by Free Britney at . Comments

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?

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

American Idol experienced a decrease in ratings this season. New judge Ellen DeGeneres is a lesbian.

Clearly, says Gary McCullough, the director of the Christian Newswire, these two facts are related. In a press release today, he wrote:

I am confident that the producers of American Idol will... find a dozen other reasons for the drop in ratings. After all, what successful television producer could have a clue what wholesomeness is as long as they see promoting homosexuality as a virtue.

If one of the judges was an abortion activist, or a political right winger and continued to insert comments in line with their activism, the same criticism would be true, and the show would suffer.

What a great point. Ellen once joked on air about having loved a woman - that's the exact same thing as a pro-choice judge telling a contestant: "You really killed that song, the same way women across the country should be free to kill their unborn babies."

Ellen Picture

McCullough added: Network television producers may or may not stop promoting homosexuality; but for certain they will learn to keep homosexual activism separate from the cash-cow of "family entertainment."

There is of course the insane possibility that Hollywood will forsake ratings... and continue down the path of change. Perhaps next we will see the pro-pedophilia group NAMBLA use its influence in Hollywood to have Dancing with the Stars seat Roman Polanski as a judge.

Yes, he just compared homosexuality to pedophilia and statutory rape.

This genius makes unassailable arguments. There's no way season nine ratings were down because the contestants were boring, and the key demographic for Idol - a singing competition whose main, highly-rated season eight attraction was Adam Lambert - is clearly people that have a problem with gays.

What do you think? Did Ellen's sexuality contribute to the show's lackluster ratings?

 

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

As recounted in our American Idol rundown from last night, we thought Ellen DeGeneres made an outstanding debut as a judge. She was fresh, funny and didn't try to overshadow the contestants.

From most of what we've read online, almost all television critics agree with that assessment.

So we found it odd that Kara DioGuardi spoke to E! News today and defended her new cohort from attacks on her Idol premiere, attacks we weren't aware existed.

"How it's edited and what you see is very different from my experience," Kara said. "I remember just thinking she was very funny and critical and had heart... It's edited in a specific way. It has to be. It has to be about the contestants."

The sentiment is nice, but it's hard for DioGuard not to come across as condescending, considering how many viewers don't like her very much.

The Judging Panel

Kara added that it was impossible to compare Ellen and the woman in whose seat she occupies.

"Paula and Ellen [are] completely different, and I think they both bring something valuable to the table... It's something that takes time to get used to, and I think [Ellen] did an incredible job for her first time there."

So do we! So do most people we've talked to.

In closing, DioGuardi said "I would love to see a girl win" and, based on one night of Hollywood auditions, she may get see that hope come true. Didi Benami, Crystal Bowersox, Haeley Vaughn and Janell Wheeler all stood out this week.

What did you think of Ellen as a judge?

 

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Last night, American Idol viewers met a pair of rumored semifinalists: Casey James and Haeley Vaughn.

But while we're excited to hear more from them and other singers, the focus of the show will likely return to the judging table next week. That's because Ellen DeGeneres debuts as a panelist on Tuesday night.

Asked about her co-star by Entertainment Tonight, Ellen recently said: "He's actually meaner than I thought. It's hard to listen to him tell people things and me not to go, 'You poor thing!'"

Despite this critique, and despite rumors that she and Cowell are already fighting, an insider says everything is fine between the pair.

Yes, Simon appeared late at a taping last month, but apologized and DeGeneres "accepted it right away and was fine," says the source.

So, can Ellen offer any spoilers about which contestants make it far in Hollywood? No, but she does tease: "We have a wide variety [of talent]... somebody for everybody, I hope."

She's already getting good at this marketing game. Are you excited for her to take part on the show?

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

American Idol viewers haven't seen Ellen DeGeneres on TV yet. But Simon Cowell may have already had enough of her!

The comedian started taping the Hollywood rounds of the show last week and will debut on Fox on February 9. How is she getting along with the most important panelist of all?

“Their relationship started poorly, but now the situation has escalated,” a source told RadarOnline.com.

  • Ellen as a Judge
  • Simon Photograph

The tension stems from Ellen's very first day on set, as reports indicate Simon showed up an hour and a half and DeGeneres was "greatly annoyed" by such tardiness.

“There’s two camps on the show this season,” said a show insider. “It’s a lot more tense than previous seasons. It seems as if Ellen has decided to try to take control since Simon is on his way out and that’s created problems.”

Sounds like it will create great television, as well. Are you excited for Ellen to debut? Do you wanna see Katy Perry take over for Cowell next season?

You can also check out the leaked names of rumored season nine semifinalists. The next American Idol will likely come from this group.

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

It's official: Ellen DeGeneres is part of the American Idol family.

The comedian was announced as the show's fourth judge, taking over for Paula Abdul, months ago. But she now appears in a series of promotional photos for the competition and there's truly no going back.

Ellen will debut on the panel on February 9.

Prior to that, Idol will feature a number of celebrity guest judges - including Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Jonas, Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry - as it narrows its season nine field down to the Hollywood round.

The New Panel

American Idol will begin its search for the next Kris Allen, Adam Lambert or Carrie Underwood is less than a week! It premieres on January 12 and THG will be there every step of the way, posing almost-daily reviews, recaps and videos of contestants.

Won't you join us? For now, check out Ellen and the rest of the cast below:

  • Ellen as a Judge
  • Simon Photograph
  • Randy Jackson Pic
  • Seacrest
  • Ellen Promo Pic

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Some highly-respected, hilarious, attractive celebrity gossip websites aren't sure if Ellen DeGeneres is the best choice for an American Idol judge.

But last year's new addition to the show, Kara DioGuardi, is not among the skeptics. She had nothing but glowing praise for Ellen when asked about her at an Emmy Award after-party.

"I think it's a genius decision," DioGuardi told People. "I wish I had thought of it... I would say she would probably be somebody who would be fair in her criticism and will try to be as supportive as she possibly could. I think it's going to be a lot of fun." 

Kara at the Emmys

As for Ellen, she's aware of the criticism her selection has been met with. Regarding the type of judge she'll be, DeGeneres said:

"I will be kind. I will be compassionate. I will be empathetic, and I will be truthful. I will be an honest judge without being mean."

We'll find out in January what that translates into. For now, be sure to listen to the first single from last year's winner, Kris Allen!

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Paula Abdul is less than stable.

Therefore, while American Idol fans debated the merits of Ellen DeGeneres as a new judge on the show, many were also wondering: How the heck will Abdul react to this news?

Will she throw a fit? Get drunk? Run around the streets of Los Angeles naked? Really, no reaction from this loony singer would surprise us. Except for grace and humility, which is exactly what Paula showed in a recent Twitter message:

"I think Ellen will b a gr8 judge on Idol," she wrote Thursday evening. "She is wildly funny, talented and I wish her the best of luck!"

That's not nearly as entertaining as the other possible reactions.

  • A Choice of the People
  • Crazy Paula

Meanwhile, last season's newcomer, Kara DioGuardi, also praised the selection of DeGeneres. She said:

"[Ellen is] somebody who loves music, she's positive, she loves kids... She is somebody who has watched the show from the beginning, knows everything there is to know about American Idol and I think ultimately it's going to be a great new energy."

Viewers will find out in a few months, as season nine premieres in January.

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

As loyal American Idol viewers, we're concerned.

The more we hear from Ellen DeGeneres, the more we think she's the wrong woman for the job of American Idol judge. Speaking to Ryan Seacrest on his radio show today, the comedian said:

Lee Does His Thing

“I’m not going to be mean. I hate it when Simon’s that mean," she said, adding that she'll tell Cowell that to his face when it happens.

That's a problem, though: we love it when Simon is mean, or at least when he's honest about a singer's ability or performance. No one wants to hear false, flowing praise from any of the judges.

DeGeneres did have kind words for Paula Abdul, whose fan base she hopes not to offend by taking a seat next to Simon, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi.

“I hope Paula’s OK with it,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to think I took Paula’s job away. Paula was a huge part of the show, and that’s a role that needs to be filled by someone in a totally different way."

What will her way entail? According to Ellen, she's a "fan like everybody else."

“Ultimately, it doesn’t come down to some expert in the music industry, it comes down to the person at home that says, ‘That’s the person I relate to and whose records I’m going to buy.’ I hope to be that voice.”

But that voice is Simon's! Viewers at home don't sit around, gushing over every contestant. They bash various singers to their friends and yearn to actually utter the critiques that Cowell delivers on a weekly basis. Remember: not every performer is Adam Lambert.

Do you agree or disagree? Do you think Ellen was a good choice for this role?