Fox announced today that Ellen DeGeneres is leaving “American Idol.” There have rumors circulating that the network was looking to shake-up the Idol format and that they may even ditch all of the current judges and bring back original producer, Nigel Lythgoe.
DeGeneres released a statement today regarding what she claims was her decision. “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. “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. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on ‘Idol’ and I am very grateful for the year I had. I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”