After only one year behind the judges’ table on “American Idol,” Ellen DeGeneres is leaving the show.
“A couple months ago, I let FOX and the ‘American Idol’ producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” Ellen said in a statement issued to Access Hollywood on Thursday. “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.”
The talk show host and comedienne revealed that she didn’t come to the decision lightly. “It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for,” her statement continued. “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.”
An industry source tells PEOPLE that the singer-actress, Jennifer Lopez has closed a deal to become a permanent judge on American Idol‘s season 10. “It’s true,” says one insider. “She’s excited about it.”
The news comes the same day that Ellen DeGeneres announced she was stepping down from her position as Idol‘s newest judge.