Calling it a "difficult decision", American Idol judge Ellen DeGeneres has announced that she is quitting the show.
"A couple months ago, I let FOX (network) and the American Idol producers know that this didn't feel like the right fit for me," people.com quoted DeGeneres as saying in a statement."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."
DeGeneres added: "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."
In the same statement, American Idol creator and executive producer Simon Fuller says, "I loved Ellen's passion for the artists and her nurturing skills. She brought honesty and optimism to our judging panel and I will miss her greatly."