Fox announced on Thursday that Ellen was leaving American Idol, effective immediately, and would not appear at the auditions this summer or on the show next winter.
Ellen released the following statement about her departure:
“A couple months ago, I let Fox and the ‘American Idol’ producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” she said. “I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next.”
She continued, “It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for.”
In an exclusive statement to THR, former "Idol" judge Simon Cowell praised Ellen. "As I got to know Ellen, I grew to really, really like her," he said. "I have huge respect for her because she's always been in control of her own destiny."
Fox hasn't released a statement about it yet, but we're sure it's on its way. Earlier this week we reported that Jessica Simpson is being considered for the show as well as Chris Isaak, Bret Michaels and Harry Connick Jr.
Are you surprised by the sudden news? Who do you think can help save the show now that Simon, Paula and Ellen are gone?