Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Missing Paula, awaiting Ellen on “American Idol”

February 3, 2010

paula abdul It’s been a long three weeks of  screechers,  also-rans and attention-seekers  as “American  Idol”  plows through auditions looking for a potential star.  And that’s just the celebrity judges.

With the audition rounds finally coming to a conclusion,  all eyes are now turning to the debut of Ellen DeGeneres in the first Hollywood rounds on Feb 9,  and whether she can fill the shoes of the missing Paula Abdul.

So far, most of the celebrity singers and actors called in at short notice last summer to replace the wacky and volatile  Abdul have demonstrated only how difficult it is to find the right blend of chemistry, entertainment and insight on the judging panel that has arguably been one of the show’s biggest attractions over the past eight dgeneresyears.

And the “performances” of  Avril Lavigne,  Posh Spice and Joe Jonas  don’t  bode well for the departure next season of Simon Cowell and his spot-on but oh so insulting quips ( Think “human orange” and “nails on a chalkboard”) .

DeGeneres has pledged that she won’t be a mean judge, but will give the average viewer’s  point-of-view, which on the face of  it seems a bit redundant since viewers have plenty of outlets for expressing what they think — most importantly by casting a vote.

She has also said that since she started working on the show she has found Cowell “even meaner” than she first thought, which could make for some interesting — and given Ellen’s comedic talents — fun dynamics when the show goes live for the first time in late February.

Ellen will doubtless bring a lot more curious viewers to “Idol” next week. The question is, can she keep them watching?

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