LOS ANGELES - Ellen DeGeneres is dancing off "American Idol" after one season, leaving Fox's hit show with two vacancies on its judging panel.
If the singing contest intends to revamp itself to stem a ratings slide, it has the opportunity to bring in two new faces for season 10 in January.
Fox has yet to announce a replacement for Simon Cowell, who left after the season finale in May to start a new talent show for the network.
"A couple months ago, I let Fox and the 'American Idol' producers know that this didn't feel like the right fit for me," DeGeneres said in a statement. The comedian/talk-show host said she realized that while she "loved discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings."
Some observers complained that DeGeneres proved to be more of a cheerleader than an incisive critic in the mold of Cowell.
A Fox statement contained no announcement of a replacement for DeGeneres. The network could make an announcement Monday, when it presents its 2010-11 programming schedule to members of the Television Critics Association meeting in Beverly Hills.
Judge Kara DioGuardi, who was brought in two years ago to replace Paula Abdul, is not under contract for next year and Fox has not announced whether she'll return.