In the midst of flying rumors who will be the new judge of "American Idol", a piece of confirmation surfaces as Ellen DeGeneres announces her departure. After only one season, the comedienne finds out that the talent show "didn't feel like the right fit for" her.
"A couple months ago, I let FOX and the 'American Idol' producers know that this didn't feel like the right fit for me," she says in a statement. "I told them I wouldn't leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for."
Ellen admits to not having the heart like Simon Cowell's. "I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings," she continues. "I loved the experience working on Idol and I am very grateful for the year I had, I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be."
Later on, executive producer Simon Fuller also releases a statement, saying "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." Peter Rice, the FOX entertainment chairman, adds that it was Ellen's decision to bow out.
The question remains whether Nigel Lythgoe who returns as the showrunner would actually implement his plan to scrap all the current line-up. If DeGeneres who has multi-year deal with FOX can exit, then it would be simpler with Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson who have one-year-at-a-time deal and one year left respectively.
Meanwhile, names keep piling up on who would be the new judge. Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler were the latest in the list, as Gossip Cop searches for inside tip. All in all, FOX is expected to make the official announcement on Monday, August 2 during Television Critics Association tour.