Paula Abdul

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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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Fox has now released the schedule for the ninth season of American Idol. They have however made some changes to the show. Returning will be the old format of 24 semifinalists, while the Wild Card round is being eliminated.

The ninth season is set to premiere over the course of two consecutive nights with a two-hour broadcast on Tuesday, January 12 and a 75-minute broadcast on Wednesday, January 13, both beginning at 8pm ET.

Not returning for the 9th season is judge Paula Abdul, who abruptly quit because she was reportedly not happy with the amount of money offered to her. Replacing Paula in the season’s auditions will be a series of guest judges which includes: Victoria Beckham (Denver and Boston), Mary J. Blige (Atlanta), Joe Jonas and Neil Patrick Harris (Dallas), Kristin Chenoweth (Orlando), Shania Twain (Chicago), and Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne (Los Angeles).

The Upcoming schedule for the 9th season is below -

  • Tuesday, Jan. 12: Boston Auditions
  • Wednesday, Jan. 13: Atlanta Auditions
  • Tuesday, Jan. 19: Chicago Auditions
  • Wednesday, Jan. 20 Orlando Auditions Episode
  • Tuesday, Jan. 26: Dallas Auditions
  • Wednesday, Jan. 27: Los Angeles Auditions
  • Tuesday, Feb. 2: Denver Auditions
  • Wednesday, Feb. 3: “The Road to Hollywood” Auditions (Ellen DeGeneres debuts)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 9: Hollywood Round, Part 1
  • Wednesday, Feb. 10: Hollywood Round, Part 2
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16: Hollywood Round, Part 3
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17: Hollywood Round, Part 4 (Semifinalists Announced)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23: Top 12 Women Perform
  • Wednesday, Feb. 24: Top 12 Men Perform
  • Thursday, Feb. 25: First Results Show
  • Tuesday, March 2: Top 10 Women Perform
  • Wednesday, March 3: Top 10 Men Perform
  • Thursday, March 4: Results Show
  • Tuesday, March 9: Top 8 Women Perform
  • Wednesday, March 10: Top 8 Men Perform
  • Thursday, March 11: Results Show (Finalists revealed)

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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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