Ellen DeGeneres Quits ‘American Idol’

Ellen DeGeneres has bowed out of her American Idol judging post, less than a year after replacing departed judge Paula Abdul. In a statement released to People magazine, DeGeneres announced,

“A couple months ago, I let FOX and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. 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.”

In addition to her Idol duties, DeGeneres hosts her daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

DeGeneres goes on to note that, while she mostly enjoyed her Idol experience, delivering critiques to budding talent made her somewhat uncomfortable:

“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.”

DeGeneres announced that she had signed on for Idol in September 2009, and made her debut on the show on February 9, 2010.

The American Idol judges’ panel has been the source of much speculation in the past week, with rumors swirling that producers are planning to replace the entire panel, and a new potential replacement for departed judge Simon Cowell surfacing almost daily. This latest development will no doubt only add to the drama.

» Follow Celebuzz on Twitter | Facebook

BUZZINGS: More Celeb Goodness

Adam Lambert Glams Up the O.C. — Idolator

Ryan Phillippe Forgets to Zip Up (Again) — Socialite Life

Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Green Lantern’ Oath — Wonderwall