Ellen DeGeneres Joins American Idol as New Judge!

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Emmy Award-winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has joined “American Idol” as a fourth judge. DeGeneres will sit alongside Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi and offer her own unique perspective to the contestants throughout the competition.

The ninth season of “American Idol” premieres January 2010 on Fox. DeGeneres will join the judges’ panel after the auditions, which will feature appearances by guest judges Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Shania Twain.

“I’m thrilled to be the new judge on ‘American Idol,'” said DeGeneres. “I’ve watched since the beginning, and I’ve always been a huge fan. So getting this job is a dream come true, and think of all the money I’ll save from not having to text in my vote.”

“I could not be more excited to have Ellen join the ‘American Idol’ family,” said creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. “Ellen has been a fan of the show for many years, and her love of music and understanding of the American public will bring a unique human touch to our judging panel. I can’t wait for this next season to begin.”

“We’re all delighted to have Ellen join our ninth season of ‘American Idol,'” said executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “Beyond her incredible sense of humor and love of music, she brings with her an immense warmth and compassion that is almost palpable. She is one of America’s foremost entertainers, and we cannot wait to have her join our team.”

Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment for Fox added, “We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres join the ‘American Idol’ judges’ table this season. She is truly one of America’s funniest people and a fantastic performer who understands what it’s like to stand up in front of audiences and entertain them every day. We feel that her vast entertainment experience – combined with her quick wit and passion for music – will add a fresh new energy to the show.”

A beloved television icon and entertainment pioneer, DeGeneres’ distinctive comic voice has resonated with audiences from her first stand-up comedy appearances through her work today on television, in film and in the literary world. DeGeneres has made a home for herself in the daytime arena with her hit syndicated talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The show, now entering its seventh season, won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host four years in a row and has earned a total of 29 Daytime Emmy Awards.

“American Idol” is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc. and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.