Ellen DeGeneres has just announced she does not want to appear as a judge on American Idol next season because the audience is just not large enough to keep her at the top of her game. While she appreciates that in years past, American Idol was one of the hottest shows around, she says she got into the act a little late. Now, with Simon Cowell, the show's biggest draw, gone, DeGeneres says she wants to desert the sinking ship while there's still time to swim to shore.
DeGeneres, however, does credit the show with giving her a bug for being a record producer and she is in the process of signing virtual unknowns from YouTube to her new label "Wacky Trackies." She is said to have already signed the likes of Parry Gripp, famous for his food jingles and animal short music videos as well as the kid who sings covers of Julio Iglesias and Engelbert Humperdinck while in the shower.
On a connected note, Kara DioGuardi is also a no-go for next season's Idol. That leaves Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest as the only hangers on. According to the show's producer Nigel Lythgoe, the only way this show may survive is if they make a clean sweep of it and hire all new people. Names are being bandied about daily, but the more interesting possibilities include having the three top daytime judges-Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown and Judge Alex-sit at the judge's table, with Pee Wee Herman being considered as a replacement for Seacrest.
More news is likely to follow in the following weeks.