Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dancing into Idolatry

Fox took the "Help wanted" sign off the judges' table on American Idol earlier today with the announcement that Emmy winning actress-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres would take over for Paula Abdul when Idol returns for its 9th season in January.

Ellen seems to be everywhere these days. Her talk show is about to start a new season, she's got an endorsement deal with Procter & Gamble (Cover Girl---who'd have thought?), and now she gets to verbally spar with Simon Cowell on a weekly basis for 5 months. Nice work when you can get it.

Idol resurrected Paula Abdul's career, although the single she released several months back, produced by Idol judge Randy Jackson (no relation to you-know-who), didn't go very far. What being on Idol does for Ellen is one important thing. Leverage on her biggest rival, Oprah Winfrey, in the form of possible exclusive interviews with Idol finalists as they're eliminated during the competition, which in turn will generate larger-than-normal ratings during the 5 months Idol is on the air. It only makes a hot commodity that much hotter.

Weep not for Paula, however. Reports have her hosting a VH1 "Divas Live" concert special, something the network hasn't done in a few years. After that, don't suppose Vince McMahon might be calling?

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