Ellen DeGeneres Selected As Fourth Judge For American Idol

Picture Courtesy Of AmericanIdol.Com

Picture Courtesy Of AmericanIdol.Com

One of my devoted readers, Kariann, sent me this interesting development in the ever-evolving format of American Idol.

First, the good news: Ellen will be great for ratings and will add a wonderful comedic element to the show.

Second, the bad news: The focus will be shifted away from the singers and the show will be renamed “American Idol Judges” (insert sarcasm here).

You can gather more detail at AmericanIdol.Com. Comments are most welcome! Let’s start the insanity, fellow readers!

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Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

18 Responses to “Ellen DeGeneres Selected As Fourth Judge For American Idol”

  1. I just heard this news on the Early Show this morning, and I honestly thought I was still in bed dreaming. At that moment if I had woken up and realize I had been dreaming, I would’ve laughed at how outrageous and unrealistic that dream was! Anyway, you get the point. I was SHOCKED!

    So how do I feel about it? I am more excited about it than I am wary. I have watched the Ellen show off and on for some time now, and I believe Ellen is one of the funniest people (if not THE funniest) alive. She will be nothing short of hilarious as a judge and will (as MCL said) boost the ratings considerably. Admittedly, the downside to this arrangement is that she really has no vocal training or experience in the music industry. Therefore, her advice to the contestants needs to probably be taken with a grain of salt.

    However, I am not too worried. Ellen, in a way, represents the voice of the people–the average American Idol fan who sits at home and watches the show unceasingly week after week. What goes through our minds at home may just be what comes out of Ellen’s mouth (along with a comedic flavor) on the show. Plus, with Randy Jackson (a producer and performer), Kara DioGuardi (a songwriter), and Simon Cowell (with tons of music industry experience under his belt), we don’t really NEED another professional up there on that panel. Someone a little less professional and a little more (or in Ellen’s case a lot more) funnier may be just what the doctor ordered.

    As sad as I am to see Paula go, Ellen may be THE factor that saves this beloved show from declining ratings. At least that is what I am hoping for!


  2. I know Ellen’s selection as a judge is receiving mixed reviews but I tend to agree with you, Galen. Dare I say, IMHO, that the professional judges at times tend to be jaded in some of their comments. I have watched this show since Season 1 and often I ask myself “was I listening to a different performance?” Some of their comments don’t make sense to me, maybe its me. For example “the performance was theatrical.” I never understood that one (in a negative context). Aren’t they perfoming? It wasn’t until I discovered Masterlady’s site that I began to realize well maybe it isn’t me. I have no technical expertise in music but I know what I like and I buy awful lot of music. Masterlady has enlightened me as to why I did or did not like a performance.

    Ellen will add the “ear of the audience” to the mix and, I beleive, offer the same safeness for the contestents that Paula provided (but I’ll miss Paula).

    Come to think of it, Masterlady should be the forth judge! That would be awesome!


  3. Ok, just realized….

    Of course I meant “Masterclasslady.” Methinks “masterlady” would be a totally different site! Sorry!


  4. Hi Masterclass Lady!! I was wondering if you were going to post something about this news. I agree with the above posters. I’m excited to see what Ellen has to offer. Unlike them, however, I am not going to miss Paula (hope this isn’t too negative of a comment, but I scringed everytime Paula opened her mouth). Anyway, this is interesting because this summer the Ellen show had re-runs of this past season’s shows and I happened to catch an episode with Simon and he said that it was hard with 4 judges. When I heard Paula was leaving I thought “great, back to 3 judges, good move”. So I hope the fourth Judge doesn’t take too much away from the singers. I am a HUGE FAN of SYTYCD and caught the episode where Ellen was a guest judge and unfortunately it wasn’t very good. The dancers had to stand on stage and listen to Ellen’s jokes rather than receive constructive criticism so Simon’s concern about a fourth judge is valid. That’s the only concern I have about Ellen. I do like how Galen put it, about Ellen being the voice of the average fan.
    And all these people who claim to be huge american Idol fans and say they are not going to watch the show anymore because of Ellen are not being fair. They make me angry. How can they say it will be a disaster when they haven’t even seen her in action with the other 3 judges. I wish people would wait and watch a couple of episodes before making a judgement. I can’t wait to see what she has to offer.


  5. Hi CookieMonster. I heard that Ellen’s role on SYTYCD was not good, but, hopefully she has learned from this. I am certain that the producers will guide her in the right direction. If not, then the show will be a mess.

    The judges have to start giving fair, constructive advice and find singers who TRAIN as dancers do. I love the raw talent – people like Jason Castro and Clay Aiken and Elliott Yamin were diamonds in the rough, but had enormous charisma and grew over the course of the competition.

    However, overall, I want to see and hear superb singers and I could care less whether or not they play an instrument. Their voice is their instrument.

    Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  6. (1) I’m afraid you’re right:

    The bad news: The focus will be shifted away from the singers and the show will be renamed “American Idol Judges” (insert sarcasm here).

    (2) For me – EW’s Michael Slezak says best:

    “And my deepest fear is that in her new role, Ellen DeGeneres will be the voice of a beloved talk-show host and comedian who’s too concerned about damaging her public image to provide the kind of niceties-free feedback that the audience — and yes, the contestants themselves — need and deserve”.

    I hope we find that these are both wrong.


  7. I left my opinion on the other thread. In reality, it doesn’t matter what we think. The contracts are signed and Ellen is AI’s 4th judge. It doesn’t mean we have to like this move. Frankly, I don’t. There were so many better qualified women to choose from. Maybe even an Hispanic/Latino judge?

    I think Ellen is actually too big of a star for the show. It is demanding to be on two top rated shows. I wonder how this will affect her personal life? I just don’t see how this is going to work, but Ellen will have to learn not to “chat” when judging.

    I hope Kara will improve her judging talents; Randy expands his vocabulary; and Simon keeps the focus on the contestants!


  8. I guess only time will tell if this is a good move for the show and contestants.

    As much as I want to believe that this is first and foremost a singing competition, it really is not. It is a television show – a reality show. The show is cast with some very good singers and not so good singers. They pick people who have interesting back stories and who American may connect with.

    Anyway, I like Ellen and I hope that she can balance her comedic speak with “from the people” advice and criticism. I think she is excited and I believe that she will take her role seriously.


  9. My view is that AI was looking for the big name judge rather than a qualified judge. Who knows, this might work out, but it will require Ellen to make some changes. Less chat and having the ability to critique will be important!

    I really think the four judge format requires too much time. Let’s hope AI will focus more on the contestants this year. Adam and Kris actually performed FIVE less times than the Davids did.


  10. I agree with Letsjive…

    “”As much as I want to believe that this is first and foremost a singing competition, it really is not. It is a television show – a reality show””.

    If the producers were serious about this being a singing contest, they would never have inked a deal with a well known comedian. They would have looked among the music industry and signed a judge from that pool.

    How sad for the contestants coming up this year, the judges table will be the center of attention, we may be lucky to get one song per person a night now. Last year because of judges yacking, I did not get to see Adam sing Mad World, because my DVR cut him off.

    This has nothing to do with Ellen, I think she is hilarious…in the right setting! I just think they could have found someone more qualified, to make it at least look like they were trying to make it a singing contest!!!


  11. Ellen is a great way to improve ratings – I’m sure that’s why the producers chose her. With all the reality shows out there, I’m sure people are beginning to get tired of Idol (minus all of us, of course!!)

    I don’t think she will do a good job at judging – does she even have a singing background? I agree, Kariann, hopefully the other judges will help her out so she properly judges the contestants!


  12. I agree, soccer247, the ratings will skyrocket. Hopefully, Ellen will use her comedy for then right reasons – to eliminate stress for the contestants.


  13. I agree, soccer247, the ratings will skyrocket. Hopefully, Ellen will use her comedy for then right reasons – to eliminate stress for the contestants….


  14. Great point, MCL! Only time will tell!!

    P.S…it’s me, Shannon 🙂


  15. Yes, I completely agree with you, MCL. With Paula gone for the first time in Idol history, the comedic stress relief Ellen will hopefully provide the contestants will be much appreciated I am sure. I have NEVER ever seen Ellen be mean to anyone, so I do not expect her to give a lot of negative criticism (if any). That’s what they have Simon for! LOL


  16. Yeah, But…this is a reality singing show, not a stand up comedian search. I can’t see as to what benefit~~~other than ratings they hope to gain from her. If actual knowledge of music is not required, then heck! sign me up, I would like to make the big bucks too telling people either they sounded good or bad. I mean really, c’mon! it would be nice for a change to actually have someone on the judges panel actually give constructive critisim and know what they are talking about when they givie it.

    Only my opinion!!!

    Oh! and MCL, I am so happy that you are back up and running! I have really missed this sight.


  17. For example “the performance was theatrical.” I never understood that one (in a negative context). Aren’t they perfoming?

    Rod, I agree, Simon would drive me crazy with this comment. The irony is that several Idols have been so successful on stage. And look at Constantine, getting nominated for a Tony award. Then Adam turns out to be one of the most popular Idols to appear on the show.

    After all this debate about Ellen being the 4th judge, I think she’ll study the music and some terminology. That would surprise everyone. Randy is NOT very helpful in providing advice for the contestants. Maybe Ellen will be able to make comments which will actually help them?


  18. I have decided to not watch American Idol this year, after last year I was very upset…not so much that Adam lost, because I knew with him win or lose he was going to be okay. But more because I’m tired of the judges table, and I don’t know if the addition of Ellen will make it better or worse. I hope she makes it better! However I have bigger fish to fry this year…I will be watching Dancing with the stars, because of Mark Dacascos!!! He is a Martial Artist and so is my son, we can’t wait to see what he does!!!

    The way these two shows criss-cross one another, I have to choose, I’m no good at trying to tape one while watching the other. I’m to nosey, I would be switching back and forth thus driving my family crazy, so it’s one or the other. I hope to catch all of the highlights though from you guys!!!


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