Monday, August 25, 2008

American Idol Adds Kara DioGuardi As New Judge - Move Over Simon

Move over Simon, Randy and Paula. The smash hit talent show "American Idol" is adding a fourth judge to its already questionable panel.

Award winning songwriter Kara DioGuardi will grace the desk next to Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson when season eight of "American Idol" starts in January, the Fox network announced Monday.

"For the past seven seasons, Paula has had to endure the experience of being the only woman at the judges' table," said Mike Darnell, a Fox Executive. "With Kara by her side, Paula has some backup and now there is going to be a lot more `girl power' on the show," Darnell said.

Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood and Pink have all recorded DioGuardio's music. The songwriter has also penned hit songs for big-budget Hollywood movies including "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" starring Lindsay Lohan, "Scooby Doo 2" with Sarah Michelle Gellar and "A Cinderella Story" starring Hilary Duff. Kara has also written and produced music for the television shows "The Office", "Smallville" and "Hanna Montana."

Executive Producer Simon Fuller said in a released statement:

"We are turning the heat up on `American Idol' this year and are thrilled to welcome Kara DioGuardi to the judges' table. Kara 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."

But behind the smoke and mirrors there may be other reasons for the shake-up at the judging table. It seems viewers are getting tired of the antics of Simon Cowell, citing his bad attitude and hurtful comments as a main reason some viewers chose not to watch the show last season. And Paula Abdul appears to have difficulty remembering even the simplest of things and slurs her speech much of the time, lending some to speculate she has a problem with drugs or alcohol.

In fact, last season during the finals, Paula commented on one performers song as if she had just watched it, when in fact the song was not performed until later in the show. Viewers hate Simon and put little faith in Paula's ability to be cognizant, and poor Randy can't lead the show on his own.

This synergy worked for a few seasons but may have grown stale. So a fourth panelist may be just what "American Idol" needs to gain new viewers and spice things up for next year.

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