Ellen DeGeneres Quits American Idol
Comic blames bad fit; show now has 2 judging vacancies
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 29, 2010 9:27 PM CDT
This undated publicity image released by Fox shows "American Idol" judges Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi, and Randy Jackson.   (AP Photo/Fox, Michael Becker)

(Newser) – Ellen DeGeneres is dancing off American Idol after one season, leaving Fox's hit show with two vacancies on its judging panel. If the singing contest intends to revamp itself to stem a ratings slide, it has the opportunity to bring in two new faces for Season 10, which starts in January. Fox has yet to announce a replacement for Simon Cowell, who left after the season finale in May to start a new talent show for the network.

"A couple months ago, I let Fox and the American Idol producers know that this didn't feel like the right fit for me," DeGeneres said in a statement. The comedian-talk show host said she realized that while she "loved discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings." A Fox statement contained no announcement of a replacement for DeGeneres. The network could make an announcement Monday, when it presents its 2010-11 programming schedule to members of the Television Critics Association meeting in Beverly Hills.