Ellen DeGeneres Joins 'American Idol' As New Judge

Announcement comes after Paula Abdul's abrupt exit from the show last month.

Following Paula Abdul's abrupt exit from "American Idol" after eight seasons as a judge, Fox announced Wednesday (September 9) that Ellen DeGeneres would take over Abdul's seat on the judging panel.

"I'm thrilled to be the new judge on 'American Idol,' " DeGeneres said in a press release. "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."

DeGeneres isn't a stranger to the talent competition, having co-hosted the "Idol Gives Back" charity special with Ryan Seacrest in 2007. The Emmy-winning talk-show host will get a new perspective on things, sitting alongside Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi as a judge.

"I could not be more excited to have Ellen join the 'American Idol' family," creator and executive producer Simon Fuller said in the press release. "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."

"Idol" has been pulling big names in to the show since Abdul announced her exit last month. Katy Perry, Joe Jonas, Avril Lavigne, Mary J. Blige, Shania Twain and other artists have been announced as guest judges for the audition rounds. It's unclear whether DeGeneres will jump in for the remaining auditions or join the show during Hollywood Week.

Since Abdul left the show, she has announced a hosting gig for "VH1 Divas" on September 17 and a guest-starring role on Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva." She also has said she's considering a talk show.

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