Ellen DeGeneres' Idol Debut Set for February 9

There seems to be two things that 'American Idol' fans have been waiting for patiently. One was the new season of the FOX show to start (duh), and the second is the episode where Ellen DeGeneres makes her debut as one of the judges (taking over for Paula Abdul). Some fans are probably confused that DeGeneres hasn't already made her first appearance on the show.

Well, relax fans: Ellen's first appearance is set for next Tuesday, February 9. She wasn't been involved in the early audition rounds of the show because most were recorded before she was named as a judge. She began her judging duties when the show went to Hollywood to start winnowing down the huge pool from the auditions. Too bad she wasn't there for some of the early, crazy, awful singers. I would have liked to have heard what she had to say.

The first week from Hollywood will show the singers rehearsing and performing (solo and in groups), then the following week the number will be down to 24. The next week YOU and only you will get to decide who makes it to the final 12. The week after that (February 25) is the first live results show, and eight people will be eliminated.

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