American Idol

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Fox recently announced the ninth season of America Idol will premiere on Tuesday, January 12 at 8pm ET/PT. The season will premiere for two consecutive nights with a two-hour broadcast on Tuesday and a one-hour broadcast on Wednesday, January 13 at 8PM ET/PT.

The new season will feature the addition of Ellen DeGeneres as a replacement for Paula Abdul. Paula served as AI judge since the show began in 2002 and reportedly rejected a $5 million per year income and later announced her exit from Idol in August. Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi will be returning as judges while Ryan Seacrest will continue as host.

The auditions for American Idol took place over the summer and featured several guest judges in Paula’s spot including Victoria Beckham in Denver and Boston, Mary J. Blige in Atlanta, Joe Jonas and Neil Patrick Harris in Dallas, Kristin Chenoweth in Orlando, Shania Twain in Chicago, and Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne in Los Angeles.

In other Idol news, Kris Allen’s self titled album dropped at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 album sales chart after selling only 80,000 copies during its week of release, according to Nielsen Soundscan data. This is the lowest of any idol winner ever recorded. Before Kris, Jordin Sparks, sixth season winner previously held the record for lowest album sales and sold 119,000 copies in first week release in November 2007.

Those figures are especially low compared to the 198,000 albums sold by runner up, Adam Lambert, who has remained in the headlines due to his recent raunchy performance at the American Music Awards.

Jennifer Hudson baby

Jennifer Hudson is introducing the world to her new born son. Jennifer gave birth to her first child, David – named after her fiancé, David Otunga (Punk from I Love New York 2) – on Aug. 10.

“I love being nurturing and caring because I love to see other people happy,” says the American Idol alum. “Who better to devote my time to than my own child?”

Below are excerpts from her interview with PEOPLE –

How hard was it keeping your pregnancy under wraps?
“David and I were the only people who knew for a long time. I would forget I was pregnant, it was so easy. I didn’t have any morning sickness, no cravings either. I just thought, ‘Oh, well, we’ll wait until it’ll tell on itself.’ I didn’t show until I was seven months so that made it easy right there.”

Has his personality emerged yet?

“He has a lot of personality, like David. He’s always been a good sleeper. His favorite time to smile now is diaper changes. Or when he spits up on you – he just cracks up like he thinks it’s the funniest thing. And his bottle is his pacifier. With a pacifier, it’s like he knows, ‘Ain’t nothing come out of here. No, I don’t want that. Where’s the real deal?’ His best friend is that bottle; that’s all he wants.”

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Justin Guarini, runner-up to Kelly Clarkson in the first season of American Idol, is getting married this weekend.

The 30-year-old singer will tie the knot with fiancee, Reina Capodici this Saturday on a private estate along the Delaware River near both their families’ homes in Pennsylvania, Usmagazine.com has learned.

Though Justin and Reina dated for a few years, they’ve known each other since they were teens. Justin will become a stepfather to Reina’s 4-year-old daughter Lola, from a previous relationship.

A female minister from the Universal Church will preside over the ceremony and the couple intend to recite vows they’ve written themselves.

Last weekend, Justin covered the Emmy Awards for the TV Guide Channel. He also plans to return to the studio to record his third CD.

kara-dioguardi

Ellen DeGeneres has yet to begin her stint as a new judge American Idol, but fellow judge – Kara DioGuardi is already singing her praises.

“I think it’s a genius decision,” says Kara, who joined AI last season, at the Entertainment Tonight/PEOPLE Emmy after-party. “I wish I had thought of it.”

Kara says she’s looking forward to the new dynamic on the show now that Ellen is replacing Paula Abdul as the show’s “nice” judge.

“I know a little bit about Ellen from watching her show and I would say she would probably be somebody who would be fair in her criticism and will try to be as supportive as she possibly could,” said Kara, 38. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

And does she think Ellen will get along well with the other judges? “[Ellen will get along with everyone] 100 percent,” she said. “I was on her show once and she’s lovely, generous, very kind. I think it’s going to be great.”

Not surprising to hear Kara speak so fondly of having a new judge. It has been reported in the past that she and Paula did not get along on the show.

Paula Abdul and Ellen DeGeneres

Fox recently announced that Ellen DeGeneres has signed on to be the fourth judge on American Idol, replacing Paula Abdul. Paula however has nothing but positive things to say about Ellen.

“I think Ellen will b a great judge on Idol,” she Twittered Thursday. “She is wildly funny, talented and I wish her the best of luck!”

Former judge, Paula Abdul, abruptly announced she would not be returning to the show on her Twitter page back in August. It is said to have been due to contract negotiations. Paula felt she deserved more money than what AI was offering. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Ellen promises to be the “honest” judge who will “bring compassion” to the show. In addition, she intends to keep fellow judge Simon Cowell in check.

“I’ll tell him the same thing I tell him when he’s on my show — that he’s mean,” she said. “You can be constructive, and you can criticize someone in a way that’s helpful and not mean-spirited.”

Ellen Degenerespaula-abdul

Ellen DeGeneres has been tapped to replace Paula Abdul as the fourth judge on American Idol, Fox announced Wednesday night in a statement.

“DeGeneres will sit alongside Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi and offer her own unique perspective to the contestants throughout the competition,” Fox television says.

Ellen, 51, will begin her stint after the audition rounds, which will feature a rotating group of celebrity guest judges including Shania Twain, Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Joe Jonas and Kristin Chenoweth.

Ellen also confirmed the announcement at her talk show taping Wednesday, “I’m going to have a day job and a night job,” assuring her audience that The Ellen DeGeneres Show will continue. “This is so exciting for me.”

Former judge, Paula Abdul, abruptly announced she would not be returning to the show on her Twitter page back in August. It is said to have been due to contract negotiations. Paula felt she deserved more money than what AI was offering.

American Idol’s ninth season kicks off January 2010.

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The ninth season of American Idol will premiere in January 2010 without Paula Abdul. American Idol isn’t the same without Paula Abdul, says Simon Cowell.

Simon, 49, tells Extra the show is now “different. It’s like comparing a carrot to a banana… They are different.”

On the ninth season, judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi return – along with celebrity guest judges, including Victoria Beckham, Shania Twain, Mary J. Blige and Katy Perry.

Simon says, he doesn’t want to “get in the middle” of Idol execs and Paula but definitely misses her being on the show. He also believes Paula will always be able to find work.

So what’s next for Paula?

“I definitely want to do a talk show because it would be different,” says Abdul, who has shot a guest role on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva and will host VH1’s Divas Live Sept. 17. “It would be a lot of fun variety with a ton of unexpected stuff and tributes to everyday people getting their big chance.”

David Otunga with Jennifer Hudson

In June, we reported that American Idol Alum Jennifer Hudson and fiancé David Otunga were expecting their first child. The couple opted to keep the baby’s gender a secret until he was born.

The couple welcomed baby boy- David Daniel Otunga Jr. who weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces on Monday, her publicist confirms to Usmagazine.com.

“The baby is beautiful and perfect,” Hudson’s publicist tells Us. “His parents are ecstatic.”

Sources say, Jennifer was looking forward to starting a family with David. “I definitely want a family,” the 27-year-old told Access Hollywood earlier this year. “You know, I’m almost 30 now, so we gotta get started sometime.”

Report of Jennifer’s pregnancy came seven months following the tragic deaths of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew, who were murdered last October.

We certainly wish both Jennifer and David the best with the newest addition to their family.

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