Not sure what to make of this. She's got no recording industry credentials, but she's replacing Paula, who mostly dished out praise and fought with Simon. Adding a comedienne might actually be an improvement, and apparently she's not participating in the preliminary judging, where expertise is required. Not to mention that the more pathetic male auditioners aren't going to serenade a middle-aged lesbian the way they did Paula anyway.
Still, it's a weird move, but I think their experiment last season with the extremely annoying Kara DioGuardi probably showed that people weren't going to want three judges talking business. Ellen is probably going to add more of a fan's point of view, and I think there's probably a lot of overlap between Ellen fans and hardcore Idol fans.