ellenidol99.jpg Woah! We adore Ellen and this is awesome news, but it totally took us by surprise!

Fox made the official announcement today that Ellen DeGeneres has signed on to replace Paula Abdul as the fourth judge on American Idol. Ellen will join fellow judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi this January.

At a taping for The Ellen DeGeneres Show today, Ellen assured her fans that she's not leaving her daytime talk show. "I'm going to have a day job and a night job. This is so exciting for me!" Ellen continued, "I've been dying to tell everyone...it's just been so hard to keep it a secret and we just finally got the okay and I'm so excited. It is going to be so much fun."

In a statement released today, Idol creator/EP Simon Fuller said he believed Ellen's "love of music and understanding of the American public" would bring "a unique human touch to our judging panel." Hey, we totally agree...what do you guys think about this decision? Does it matter that Ellen's not a Grammy winner or a former Spice Girl?