Ellen DeGeneres’ Departure from “American Idol”

Hearing about Ellen DeGeneres’ departure from “American Idol” is some of the best news I’ve heard in a long time.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore her.  I have followed her career since it’s humble beginnings.  
When her TV show “Ellen” was canceled in the late 1990s, I did feel sorry for her.  Yet she rose above a really tough situation.  How easy could it be to have been  fired from a show after coming out on national television?  You know that would never happen today.
Sara Gilbert is about to host a new talk show this fall.  She quietly came out of the closet during a Wednesday press conference at the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles.  According to Entertainment Weekly, she stated: “I don’t think [being out] will be a problem…I don’t ever really think of things as being out or in…I just think I am who I am, and when topics come up that are appropriate, I’ll talk about them and share when it seems right.”
Back to Ellen, her career became temporarily derailed in the late 1990s, but she got back on track a few years later. In 2003, she published a best-selling book of short stories and essays, toured across the United States with a new stand-up routine, voiced the part of Dory in Finding Nemo, and launched her syndicated talk show.

When Ellen bounced back into television with her new show, I became an even bigger fan.  She’s got an amazing sense of humor and she’s just so courageous.  She gets great guests, has amazing writers and is a fantastic role model for women of any generation.

When she moved onto the judging crew of “American Idol” after Paula Abdul left, I admit I was kind of excited just because I love everything she does.  I thought she’d bring a level of humanity to the show, as well as comic relief.  But from the very beginning, it didn’t feel like a good fit.  I could tell she was having trouble giving honest critiques.  She’s too nice of a person.  Paula Abdul was also too nice 80% of the time, but Ellen’s niceness was too much.  Plus, she has no music background so didn’t have the experience to really back up her opinions.
“This didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” DeGeneres wrote in a statement on her official website. “It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for.”

Do I feel sorry for Ellen this time?  Not at all.  She’s got her talk show which gets Emmy after Emmy every year. On the show, she is always promoting a cause and raising money for charities.  She’s a comedienne, a performer, a humanitarian.  She’s probably got another trick up her sleeve of even more that she wants to do.  If not, like she states above, she’ll spend more time with her family and at home.  It couldn’t have been easy going from one show to another.

I respect Ellen so much for making this decision (if, indeed, it was her own).  With Simon Cowell’s departure, who knows what will become of the judges on “American Idol?”  But it’s not Ellen’s problem.

What do you think?  Please post your thoughts below.

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  1. I, too, really like Ellen. I think she is funny and very personable. I think she probably made the right decision. I feel American Idol is going down the tubes fast. She was probably very wise to jump ship while she could.

  2. It's takes a lot to follow your gut and leave a situation that isn't working. Perhaps she felt she needed to do this to honor her values and priorities. I think she's awesome!

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