So, the big news in the NYC indie-rock scene today is that Ellen Degeneres has signed a five-year deal to replace Paula Abdul as the fourth judge on American Idol. When I first got word—via text message from my wife, who recognized that this was something I needed to know about immediately, even if it meant that I would gasp audibly while sitting at the Mets game, causing my very startled father to ask what the hell was my problem—I thought the same two things everyone else thought: “Well, shit, I guess Paula really isn’t coming back” and “Wait a minute, this just doesn’t make any fucking sense at all.” And it doesn’t, of course, in that Ellen Degeneres is a comedian about who’s only even the slightest bit associated with music because she dances during the opening of her morning talk show, but it could work out brilliantly.
Despite being hugely famous, she’s always seemed like a reasonable human being with a very healthy self-awareness, which is certainly not something the other three can say for themselves. But even more importantly, as a longtime fan of the show, who happens to not be a complete moron, and who also happens to be good at making jokes, it’s hard to imagine her being pushed around by Simon, the way Kara is because she’s weak and stupid, and the way Paula was because she didn’t even realize it was happening. So, there you go. Ellen DeGeneres will probably be awesome on American Idol.