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American Idol

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.”

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Even though Paula Abdul is leaving the show, American Idol will still have four judges, Fox chairman Peter Rice told the FOX Television Critics Association on Thursday.

“There is going to be a search,” he said. The search is for a permanent replacement, while there will be guest judges taking her place during the auditions.

According to Peter, the producers “were hoping” Abdul would come back. “We love Paula. She’s been a really wonderful part of the show for eight years.”

Sources say that Paula asked for a $20 million deal which producers were unwilling to meet. She also rejected a thirty percent raise.

According to FOX, guest judges including Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry will join Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi in the seven weeks of audition rounds, which starts Friday in Denver.

“We’ll have these guest judges do one week each during the audition [period]… there is no thought right now that any of these judges will be long term judge for us,” Rice said. “All of the people we are talking to have successful careers. I don’t even think they’d be available to judge full-time. We have now until January to introduce a new energy to the panel.”

There are also rumors that Kandi Burruss of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is being considered as a judge, but those are simply rumors for now.

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Speculations over Paula Abdul’s return to American Idol can finally be put to rest as she will not be returning as judge on American Idol, reports PEOPLE.

 “With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to Idol,” Abdul, 47, writes on her Twitter page. “I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon.”

She adds: “What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me. I do, without any doubt, have the BEST fans in the entire world and I love you all.”

Paula’s reps have refused to comment except provide a confirmation that she is leaving. The show will begin taping for the 9th season, with auditions starting in Denver. 

FOX TV also released a statement saying, “Paula Abdul has been an important part of the American Idol family over the last eight seasons and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show,” “While Paula will not be continuing with us, she’s a tremendous talent and we wish her the best.”

With Paula gone, the three other judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi will return.

Tell us: Are you going to keep watching AI without Paula?

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Over the weekend, there were talks that Paula Abdul may not return for season 9 of American Idol according to her manager. American Idol fellow judge, Simon Cowell is however not concerned because he believes the contract will be finalized amicably and Paula will be back on the show.

“She’ll be fine. She’ll be on the show,” he tells Extra” I don’t get a lot of say. I’ve just made it clear that I want Paula on the show.”

AI host, Ryan Seacrest also says, “I think as far as I know, you’ll see everybody back. I hope so.”

David Sonenberg Abdul’s manager, raised concern over the weekend, telling the Los Angeles Times that the singer-dancer hasn’t been offered a contract yet.

In the meantime, a “Keep Paula” campaign has been launched on Twitter to keep Paula on the show. Idol alums, Matt Giraud, Anoop Desai and Danny Gokey have also joined the campaign showing support for Paula.

Abdul also took to her Twitter page over the weekend to thank fans for standing by her. She wrote: “I’m actually moved 2 tears upon reading the enormous amount of tweets showing me your kindness, love & undying support. God bless all you! If it weren’t for you, this specific time and situation would feel a lot worse! XoP”

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The American idol judges and host are finalizing contract negotiations before the show returns for the ninth season. Ryan Seacrest recently renewed his contract for three years, a $45 million deal to continue as host, perhaps making him the highest paid host in the history of reality tv.  Randy Jackson also signed on through 2011 while Kara DioGuardi has expressed interest to return. Though Simon Cowell will return for another season, his long term future on AI remains uncertain.

There were several reports that Paula Abdul will be returning to the show, however Paula’s manager is not certain of her return since the producers are not agreeing to their demands.

“Very sadly, it does not appear that she’s going to be back on Idol,” Abdul’s manager, David Sonenberg, who has yet to receive a proposal for her return, told The Los Angeles Times.

According to Sonenberg, who began managing the star in June, he told the network Abdul would “love to be on the show,” but is yet to get a response from the producers.

“She’s not a happy camper as a result of what’s going on. She’s hurt. She’s angry,” Sonenberg said. “I think at this point we’re going to be considering everything, including some kind of a competition show. She has tremendous ideas for a whole variety of shows.”

Tell us: Will you continue to watch American Idol without Paula Abdul?

idol_02-judges-wall_0045_1 It seems all four American Idol judges will be returning for season 9 after all. According to RadarOnline.com, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi will be returning to the next season of American Idol despite initial rumors surrounding the show.

Since Abdul’s contract was up, there were speculations of her not returning to the show and that Kara may not return since she only signed a one year contract. Having four judges seemed to be problematic for the live show because it slowed down the pacing says Abdul and Cowell.

Timing issues will be addressed on the next season. At the moment, Abdul and Dioguardi are still in negotiations though sources believe the contracts will be finalized in a few weeks. Sources also believe a formal announcement will be made in a few weeks.

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In a recent interview with David Letterman, Paula Abdul says she loves her job on American Idol but she is not certain that she will be returning for another season. “I never said [I wasn’t returning]. I just said that I’m not sure,” Abdul said cryptically.

“It’s called, um, ‘negotiating’,” she joked.

Letterman shared his own personal experience dealing with network suits and advised Abdul to be careful. “One time, I tried that, I was coming up to the end of a contract, and I said, ‘I don’t know, maybe I won’t come back,’ and they said, ‘Fine because we’ve got another guy ready to go’,” cracked the 62 year-old late night host.

Abdul was asked about her relationship with co-host Kara DioGuardi. “Kara’s great,” Abdul told Letterman. “I don’t understand why they do this to women; they love to pit women against each other. Maybe because it’s sexier, I don’t know. Maybe mud wrestling, the whole thing.”

hudsAccording to the The Chicago Tribune, Oscar-winning Dream Girls star, Jennifer Hudson is reported to be 7 months pregnant. A baby shower was held Saturday in her native town of Chicago. The shower was well attended by friends and family members.

Since the sex of the child wasn’t revealed most of the gifts were neutral colors. Jennifer who is engaged to I Love New York 2 contestant (and Harvard Law grad) David Otunga — told Access Hollywood earlier this year: “I definitely want a family. You know, I’m almost 30 now, so they gotta get started sometime.”

When asked about the wedding ceremony, she plans to keep it quiet and include her three dogs — Oscar, Grammy and Dream girl — in the ceremony. Oscar might be the ring bearer,” said the American Idol alum, who recently finished a tour with singer Robin Thicke. “We’ll send them down the aisle with a little tux.” Hudson tells USA Today that she wants a traditional and classy wedding surrounded by friends and family members.

The baby news comes seven months after the tragic deaths of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew, who were murdered late last year. Hudson returned to the spotlight in February after taking time off.

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