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The newest season of American Idol is set to premier January 12th on the FOX network, and the new photos of all the judges have now been released!

TV Host Ellen DeGeneres will be taking the place of Paula Abdul in the 9th season of the hit show, but don’t expect to see Ellen anytime soon on your Television as she did not take part in the audtion part of the show. Celebrity guest judges such as Mary J. Blidge, Shania Twain, and Victoria Beckham will be the ones deciding which contestants make it to Hollywood.

“I’m very excited to be on the show,” Ellen has said of joining the show. “I will tell you that right now. I just continue to be excited every single day.”

There are also those pesky rumors that Simon Cowell will be leaving the show after this season, after his brother Tony Cowell announced on his British show that Simon plans to leave AI “at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing the American version of The X Factor to U.S. TV in 2011.” However, fellow judge Randy Jackson puts those rumors to rest by telling TMZ Simon isn’t leaving.

Only time will tell whether or not Simon will be leaving the show.

TELL US: CAN AMERICAN IDOL SURVIVE WITHOUT SIMON COWELL?

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