Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Ryan Seacrest looks for “sexual tension” from new “American Idol” judge Ellen DeGeneres

September 21, 2009

 ryan-seacrestThe stars of Fox’s “American Idol” expect great things from new judge Ellen DeGeneres , but they are all saying something different about her addition to the judging panel of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi, and her replacement of songstress Paula Abdul.

Host Ryan Seacrest told Fox News at the Primetime Emmy awards on Sunday that DeGeneres, a comedian with her own daytime chat show, is a “superstar.”

“She will change the sexual tension,” Seacrest said of DeGeneres, who is lesbian and last year married longtime girlfriend and actress Portia de Rossi in California, before voters in the state banned same-sex weddings during the November 2008 election.

“Simon and Paula had a specific kind of tension, but this will be quite different…” Seacrest told Fox.

DioGuardi, who only joined the show this past season, told People magazine at an Emmy after-party that “Idol” producers’ recruitment of DeGeneres was a “genius decision,” and that she wishes she had thought of it herself.

One of the most pointed comments about DeGeneres’ addition came from director Bruce Gowers, who won an Emmy for his role with “American Idol.”

“I think there will be a lot more fun on the show than there was before,” Gowers told reporters backstage.

“I think we’re going to get even higher ratings,” he said.derossianddegeneres

But Gowers backtracked when asked if he meant the show suffered with Abdul in the judge’s chair, saying that was not the case.

Despite drawing more viewers than any other show on television, “American Idol” did not win its first Emmy until 2007, which was six years into the show’s lifespan, and even that was for the relatively unexciting category of best technical direction.

 Will next season’s arrival of DeGeneres, a highly respected figure in Hollywood, change things and get the show more respect from Emmy voters?


yap, Idol will get higher rating on the first show, but will lose its momentum the way it is going with the judge. It is losing its creditability with Ellen as a judge who can see the wood in her eyes. If idol is lucky enough to find some interesting contestants, that may save the show a bit, but the innocence of the show has been lost, as it push the most favourite judge out of the show unfairly. It is like someone dug his hand in my chest and pulled out my heart. Paula is the heart of the show!

Posted by kkimbo | Report as abusive

No doubt Ellen is witty and quick with a joke. Problem is, that’s all I’ve seen from her over her career. I am not interested in her humor when she’s supposed to be judging a singing contest. I hope she settles down and takes her duties somewhat seriously. If she doesn’t I know I’m going to be changing the channel and watching something else.

I liked what Paula Abdul brought to the show. She was warm and charming.

Posted by DFWDelia | Report as abusive

I think that this is a genius move on American Idol’s part. I honestly hate the show.. can’t stand it, but I think I will watch now that Ellen will be on. I love Ellen. She has a huge and different fan base that will tune in to watch her. Look out America a Lesbian actually is well liked!

Posted by Amanda | Report as abusive

Love Ellen but like the previous poster, my busband and I both loved Paula. She brought true kindness and caring to the table and her relationship with Simon grew into something fun to watch. We can’t fathom why they pay Ryan so much money. Some of it would have been better spent on Paula.

Posted by Jenny | Report as abusive

Can Ellen let the lime-light off of herself and let the contestants have the attention and laughs..I don’t believe so. She is a comedian not a music artist. Dancing around on the stage or asiles is not music talent. The damage she may cause the show is far worse than idol can afford. I will see after the first few shows.. But not sure I will be able o stomach the show this year at all!
Good luck American Idol..and shame on you Simon(whom I do like) for lowering your standards and and making a joke of a show.


Give me a break!! Paula Abdul seemed like she was drunk all the time, even my 10 year old would would say “what is wrong with Paula?” As for whether Ellen is as experienced to judge as Paula was…well I think she may not be as experienced as an ex Laker Girl who had a few cool dance moves in the 80′s and could carry a tune…but at least she IS funny and weird and not just acting funny and weird! Sometimes she was just downright odd!

We love Ellen in Canada and this change will DEFINITELY make American Idol worth watching again.

Posted by Brenda | Report as abusive

Lousy choice Ellen for judge. Lost me as a viewer.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

I understand what everyone is saying about Ellen and zero experiencein the music industry. That’s what I like about it. She is the voice of the people who listen to music, love it and dance to it. I don’t believe she’s there to give a professional opinion but the voice of ours who will by that cd to enjoy.
I do love Paula also, but as someone said is she drunk 1/2 the time? Yes she was warm and very careing, but I think Ellen can be too.
I have to echo the words that someone said about Ellen, I hope she’s not on her comedian mark always. Comedy is great, but this is not a comedy talent show.
I’ll Give Ellen the benefit and hope for the best.
Yes we do love Ellen in Canada, the warm friendly happy country. Just don’t piss us off or we’ll put our little foot down (lol).


My apologies for spelling Fan Fare incorrectly.


poula is the switest thing in american idol
dhey are doing big mistake

Posted by valentina | Report as abusive

What does Degeneres know about singing talent? Sure, she’s good for laughs, but they could have done better.

Posted by rebus | Report as abusive

I’m worried that Ryan and Ellen may have some hair envy. :)

Posted by lmr | Report as abusive

Maybe now the show will really be about the contestants. Paula was a needy, attention seeking individual. 99% of the people watching Idol have no skills in judging singing; but we know what we like. Ellen will represent the average person with honesty and humor. No more soap opera.

Posted by Beebe | Report as abusive

This is the first season my family will not be watching! Poor choice

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive

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