Season nine of "American Idol" is under way, and judge Randy Jackson can't believe how much the show is about to change. With Paula Abdul out and Ellen DeGeneres in — not to mention that Simon Cowell will bid a fond farewell after this season — fans will certainly have a lot of interesting shake-ups to look forward to.
They will also have some amazing talent to watch grow as the season forges on. "Simon's leaving. There's no Paula there. Ellen's coming in. It's a very, very different season, but the talent that we saw on the road is amazing," he told MTV News when he stopped by to promote the Paper Tongues, a new band he's managing. "You guys are seeing the auditions now, and the guest judges we had on the road, they all held their own."
But Jackson notes that in the back of everyone's minds is just who will replace Cowell when it's all said and done. "Dude, it's so hard. I don't even know. We've been thinking about it since he announced it. It's like saying who are you going to get to replace [Minnesota Vikings player] Brett Favre or who are you gonna get to replace [New Orleans Saints player] Drew Brees. You know, it's a hard thing. I don't really know.
"There were rumors that Conan O'Brien was going to do it," he continued, also addressing the LaToya Jackson judge rumors. "That's wild. Hey, we love the Jacksons. ... I think everyone should just take a turn."
DeGeneres will soon get her turn at bat as a judge, and Jackson insists that anyone who thinks she won't cut it should think again. "She's amazing and she's from Louisiana. My homegirl. She is the voice of the people," he explained. "She's not a singer, but she's also very talented on TV and quick on her feet 'cause let me tell you something: Being a judge on the panel seems like it's easy. ... [but] it's a lot harder than it seems. Ellen is going to be the bomb."
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