How many questions were raised when news of Kara DioGuardi being recruited as a fourth judge on American Idol?  Sure, she’s got what it takes—she’s written so many hits, from established artists such as Kylie Minogue and Faith Hill to Idol graduates like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Katherine McPhee—but why exactly was she put into the show?  Right after the announcement was made, there was much speculation that Paula Abdul was being eased out of her judge’s seat, in light of her many recent controversies, and questions about whether she can still carry on judging duties or not.

As Idol‘s January 13 premiere came closer, the folks behind the hit reality show have insisted many times that Paula isn’t on her way out, and that Kara has been tossed in to shake up the dynamic.  Sure, we took that, with executive producer Ken Warwick enthusiastic over how Kara does her judging, and how her opinions mix in with that of Paula’s, Randy Jackson’s and Simon Cowell’s.  But one can’t help but still feel sneaky about it.  It’s somewhat touchy, after all—here comes Kara, then, to clear her side.  Is she out to get Paula’s spot?

“Oh no,” she simply told E!’s Kristin Dos Santos.  “Why would I take her place?  She’s great.  People love her, [and] I’m hoping they like me.  I’m not worried about taking Paula’s place.  I’m trying to make sure people like me.”

Perhaps it’s hard breaking into an audience who’s already used to seeing the way Randy, Paula and Simon deal with the wannabes and the wannabe-but-can’ts.  But with her very rich background in songwriting and producing, it mustn’t be a hard thing.  Still, how will she deal with the contestants?  “I have an opinion, I have something to say, I have a lot of experience, and I’m going to voice that,” she said.  “If there’s a kid that I feel needs a tough approach, that’s what I’m going to give them … I’m always honest, I always tell the truth straightforward.”

And, to her delight, the playing field is finally even, so perhaps we should expect a little more, err, intelligent discussion over who goes in.  “Two guys, two girls,” she said.  “Sometimes the girls don’t agree with the guys.  Sometimes I agree with one or two of them, it goes back and forth.”

But before, two yeses can get someone into Hollywood—what about now that there’s a possibility of a stalemate?  “The biggest change is that Simon is the tiebreaker,” Kara revealed.  “If you agree with him, great, but if you don’t, there’s definitely going to be some contention there.  It’s kind of minute by minute now with this new tiebreaking thing, everyone on the panel could seem to be getting along, and then he says he wants to put them through or not put them through, and all hell can break loose.”

How would that turn out? American Idol returns to Fox on January 13 and 14 with a four-hour season premiere.  Only then will we know if it’ll work.  I do hope so…

-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: E! Online
(Image courtesy of Fox)

Henrik Batallones

Staff Writer, BuddyTV