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‘Idol’s’ New Judge Speaks Up

August 25, 2008 3:15 PM

Kara DioGuardi

New “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi is interested in speaking her mind in her upcoming position, but she had nothing but praise for her new “Idol” partners, including her former songwriting partner Paula Abdul.

“I’ve always had a great relationship with Paula,” Ms. DioGuardi said, speaking with reporters via conference call today. “I can’t imagine her not being happy [with Ms. DioGuardi’s judge position].”

Ms. DioGuardi is no newcomer to “Idol” or to music. She is a veteran songwriter who has worked with several former “Idol” winners, as well as penning multiple musical hits, such as Kylie Minogue’s “Spinning Around” with Ms. Abdul. She also appeared as a judge on ABC’s short-lived “Idol” knockoff, “The One: Making a Music Star,” in 2006, which Ms. DioGuardi said made her more experienced and television-ready.

Ms. DioGuardi’s addition is the second big change for “Idol” this month. The first was the departure of executive producer Nigel Lythgoe in early August.

“I think it was just about adding another person and creating a new chemistry as well as keeping the old,” Ms. DioGuardi said of her addition.

In regards to her judging style, Ms. DioGuardi said she’ll bring a new view to the table—she’s not looking to emulate any other judge at the table.

“I’d say I’m going to be a straight shooter and say it like I see it,” she said. “I’m not going to be on the show to just nail people. I’m going to be there to also help them.”

As for notoriously cranky judge Simon Cowell, Ms. DioGuardi said she doesn’t know Mr. Cowell too well, but that she’ll deal with him the way she deals with any other person.

It doesn’t look like she’ll need to argue with Mr. Cowell, anyway.

“I think Simon is pretty spot-on most of the time,” Ms. DioGuardi said.

—Andrew Krukowski


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