Ellen DeGeneres Replaces Paula Abdul on Idol!

Ellen DeGeneres arrives at the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 25, 2008 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Michael Caulfield/WireImage.com

Ellen DeGeneres is replacing Paula Abdul as the fourth judge on American Idol, Fox announced Wednesday night in a statement.

"I'm thrilled to be the new judge on American Idol," DeGeneres says. "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 — who guest-judged on So You Think You Can Dance this summer — will continue to host her daily talk show.

"I'm going to have a day job and a night job," she says. "The times we're living in … we're all doing that."

The show's creator and executive producer Simon Fuller says:  "I could not be more excited to have Ellen join the American Idol family. 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."

In August, Abdul announced she would not be returning to the show on her Twitter page.

"With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return" to Fox's singing contest, Abdul wrote. "I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day 1 become an international phenomenon."

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. The show's ninth season kicks off January 2010. 


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