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American Idol shake up: Ellen DeGeneres out, Kara DioGuardi fired

Sasha Perl-Raver is an entertainment journalist living in Los Angeles who has covered the industry for almost a decade.

Is Idol almost done?

Simon Cowell split. Ellen DeGeneres danced to the exit. Kara DioGuardi got the axe. Now, only Randy Jackson remains on the most famous karaoke critique panel in the world, American Idol. It got us thinking: What is going on over at American Idol?

For those of you who thought it was big doings when Paula Abdul was asked to kindly exit, stage left, this week's American Idol shake up is as earth shattering as Ruben Studdard doing a triple gainer into the shallow end. For the rest of us, this news is simply another minor hiccup, soon to be forgotten, as the American Idol juggernaut soldiers on.

American Idol judges and Ryan Seacrest, now, it's just Ryan and Randy

The thing about American Idol is that it's a freight train that seems to keep rolling regardless of who's on board. Sure the ratings have dipped a bit in recent years, but is that really a cause for concern when the show is still raking in about 20 million pairs of eyeballs a week?

Not so much.

Without Simon Cowell's snarkiness, Paula Abdul's drunken ramblings (how we miss those!), Kara's demonstrations of how a song should be sung (hilarious every time), or Ellen DeGeneres' sunshine nature, all that's left of the original show are those grotesque initial auditions, so addictively thrilling as they offer equal parts humiliation and heart warmth, and Randy Jackson's trademark, "It was a little pitchy, dawg," as Ryan Seacrest incrementally takes over as the master of all he surveys.

That makes the real question on our minds this: Is the American Idol party over or just beginning a new chapter? That all depends on the judges they get for the upcoming season.

At the top of the list are Aerosmith front man, the recently rehabbed Steven Tyler, and Jenny from the Block herself, Jennifer Lopez.

Steven Tyler we get, he's been fighting with his band mates and threatening to leave the group for years, but what the hell is Jennifer Lopez thinking going on American Idol? Has her career really sunk that far that she's hopping onto a flagging TV show to boost her profile?

Considering Jennifer Lopez hasn't had a hit movie since 2004's Shall We Dance? and she's got a new album coming out this year that she'll want to promote, we can kind of see the logic, but we figured after her Fly Girl days, Jennifer Lopez was too diva to grace the small screen. Maybe her celebrity will be enough to distract from the fact that she's got a one-octave range and isn't much of a singer. But then again neither was Paula and she was our favorite Idol judge ever, although that was largely thanks to her pill problem.

If Tyler joins the panel, we can't wait to watch him watch the contestants attempt to tackle his music. Danny Gokey's version of Dream On in Season 8 was one of the most painful performances in Idol history, but Adam Lambert killed Cryin'.

Read on for more American Idol

Ellen DeGeneres quits American Idol
Kara DioGuardi fired from American Idol
How much do you know about American Idol? Take our quiz!

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