'American Idol' Adding Kara DioGuardi as Fourth Judge

Kara DioGuardi, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson

The eight season of 'American Idol' welcomes songwriter Kara DioGuardi as a fourth judge, who is expected to give a back-up for Paula Abdul in the judges' table.
Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Simon Cowell are confirmed to be backed up with a fourth judge for the eight season of "American Idol". The reality show producer, Cecile Frot-Coutaz has recently announced that the reality show will be adding Grammy-nominated songwriter, Kara DioGuardi in judging panel. "We had originally intended for 'American Idol' to have four judges," the producer says in a statement.

The addition of Kara in the judging panel is aimed at keeping the show fresh and make it a bit more unpredictable. Cecile states in an interview, "We've seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers." Furthermore, Kara's criticism is also expected to bring out some new reactions from the other judges.

When asked whether she will be more like Simon or Paula, Kara who has written songs for Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, and Gwen Stefani, simply says that she has her own style. "I don't think I'm similar to anybody. I have my own style," she says. The songwriter also promises to be constructive with criticism and give a direct honest opinion for the candidates. "I'm going to be a straight shooter and say it like I see it," she explains. "If I feel I need to be hard with someone to get that across, I will be. If I need to be softer or more nurturing with some of the contestants, I'll be that."

Commenting on the judge addition, Fox President Mike Darnell says that Kara will provide a back-up for Paula, who has often found herself, as Mike says, at odd position with her male counterparts over the past seven seasons. "For the past seven seasons, Paula has had to endure the experience of being the only woman at the judges' table," Mike recently tells the media. "With Kara by her side, Paula finally has some back-up and now there is going to be a lot more 'girl power' on the show."

In line with all the positive welcomes, Simon Fuller as a creator and executive producer for the show congratulates Kara. He says in a statement, "She is a smart, sassy lady, and one of America's most successful songwriters. We know she will bring a new level of energy and excitement to the show."

Initially, Fuller has considered to have four judges, as the original British format did, but couldn't find the right person. At the start of the second season in 2002, DJ and hip-hop performer Angie Martinez had joined the panel but quit after three days. He has been searching for another woman judge ever since and considers that a songwriter will add perspective to the judges' producing and performing experience.

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