American Idol, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson, Ellen Degeneres, Ryan Seacrest

Michael Becker / Fox

All American Idol needed was Ellen DeGeneres and Paula Abdul.

On a night featuring DeGeneres' judging debut, as well as a swingin' acoustic rendition of Abdul's "Straight Up!," Idol rebounded, and reached its biggest audience since premiere night: 27.7 million, per preliminary estimates.  

See what happens when people come together?

Well, all right, Abdul, who left Idol last summer, was only there in spirit, via hopeful Andrew Garcia's crafty redo of the pop star's signature 1980s hit.

If viewers missed Abdul, they sure didn't diss DeGeneres.

Last night's show was up 3 million sets of eyeballs from the previous Tuesday, and up 1 million from last year's first Hollywood Week episode.

Which, of course, featured the real-and-in-person Abdul.


Simon Cowell's the next Idol judge to go. Are you ready for who his replacement might be?

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