Sharon Osbourne: ‘Idol’ with Ellen Was ‘Awkward’ and ‘Embarrassing’

Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

With ‘American Idol’s’ new (or old, and new once again) producer, Nigel Lythgoe, back in place, it may help fix what several other high-profile network talent show judges say was a bad situation for the Fox TV show, whose ratings dropped last year (though were still high).

Sharon Osbourne, who has been a judge on ‘America’s Got Talent’ since 2007, says last season’s four-judge ‘Idol’ format, with Ellen DeGeneres, was “awkward at times” and “embarrassing.”

"I think it is the best thing in the world that they are shaking it up and getting rid of what they had before," Osbourne says. "It didn't work. The last season didn't work. There was no rapport with the judges. I think they're doing the right thing. You know what, move on. You have to move on. That's what they're doing. I think it's exciting for them."

‘Idol’ is on the decline without the departed Simon Cowell, who will judge and produce the American version of ‘X Factor,’ which premieres in Sept. 2011, says ‘AGT’ judge Piers Morgan.

"It will still do very well, but I think you're seeing the beginning of the end of it … I think they're clearly in trouble," Morgan says. "'American Idol's' success was built around Simon Cowell. Now that he's gone, that success is going to be hard to find."

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‘America’s Got Talent’ is executive-produced by Cowell, who also hand-picked Morgan for the ‘AGT’ judge’s chair – his first big American TV break.

"I really believe we are going to be dominant talent show now," Morgan says. "You're seeing the start of the next stage of 'America's Got Talent.'"

‘AGT’ viewers have averaged between 11 and 12 million viewers per episode this season, which is very good for an original summer show, but still a fraction of ‘Idol.’

The third ‘AGT’ judge Howie Mandel, and newest addition to the show, takes more of a middle-of-the-road stance when asked about ‘Idol’s’ future.

"You know what, like ['AGT'], it's ultimately going to be up to America," Mandel says. "Simon Cowell leaves a huge void, not to ever be replaced, but to find a new direction. You can never replicate what Simon brought to that show. That's what made the show, his honesty. He's right, and he knows what he's talking about."

The 'AGT' judges hedge their bets when speculating what effect 'X Factor' will have on other network competition shows. 'X Factor's' singing format will likely make it more of a competitor with 'Idol' than 'AGT,' anyway.

"It's really in the 'Idol' camp, not in ours at all," Osbourne says. "It's all about singing."

Morgan says, “‘X Factor’ is a great show, and it’s going to have Simon. So, who knows.”

Adds Mandel, "I haven't even seen the British 'X Factor,' so I don't know [what it's like]. But I can't wait to see it. I don't think there are enough competition shows right now. I say that as somebody on [one]."

Watch Prince Poppycock Belt it Out:

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