Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen Degeneres Show

"There have definitely been some mixed feelings among fans and the media so far," an American Idol insider tells us about yesterday's jaw-dropping Ellen DeGeneres announcement.

At least Fox is totally aware that replacing the former '90s pop starlet (and current tweet crybaby) Paula Abdul with a nonsinging, sometimes dancing comedian was a bold—and possibly lethal—move for the hit show.

So why did they approach Ellen, of all people, to permanently join the judge's table? Isn't that a li'l like Quentin Tarantino's bizarre stints as guest judge? And what do the people behind the curtain at Idol think about this strange switcheroo?

Some Fox folks are not as on board as others...

"I love Ellen, but I personally think it's going to be a little strange having someone with zero music industry/vocal expertise giving advice to contestants," our Idol guy admits. "Hopefully this isn't seen as the moment the show truly jumped the shark."

No, we think that was with Idol Gives Back (which they've totally thrown out the window).

So then why DeGeneres?

We know she's funny, likable and has already made a home for herself on the boob tube (Fox included), but a music judge? Says our primo knowledgeable Idol source: "[Ellen] brings the 'passionate fan' viewpoint."

Guess that's true—you don't have to be in the tunes biz to judge music, particularly with your wallet.

Regardless of some iffy feelings about how season nine will pan out, one thing's for certain: Fox is a happy camper right now.

The seemingly never-ending Paula drama and the new Ellen announcement "is bringing the show a lot of attention in a time when it's usually forgotten [Fall] since it's not on."

Those Idol folks are evilly smart, no?

Our thoughts, since we here at the A.T. are super into the singing competish? Does anybody really give a damn what Randy Jackson, a dude with tons of music cred, has to say? No. We want to be entertained—we don't give an ef about qualifications. Ellen's about as entertaining as it gets, and this time, she'll be in on the joke, whereas Paula was usually floating somewhere in the medicine-cabinet vicinity.

Plus, there's something satisfying about the most flaming contestant the show's ever seen narrowly missing the top prize, and then the most mainstream, beloved gay personality in showbiz nabs a coveted spot on the show.

Hope Ellen's OK faking all that sexual tension with Simon.


Before Ellen steals the show, check out the other Celeb Guest Judges in store this Idol season!

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