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Kara DioGuardi Joins American Idol as Fourth Judge for Season Eight

American Idol Adds Kara DioGuardi as Fourth Judge

When wannabe American Idols take the stage this Winter, there will be another voice at the judges' table telling them what's what. The show has added Grammy-nominated songwriter Kara DioGuardi as a fourth judge for the show's eighth season, joining Simon, Randy, and Paula.

In a statement, producer Simon Fuller said DioGuardi 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.” She's written songs for several Idol winners and contestants, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee, and Clay Aiken, as well as for Celine Dion, Pink, Hilary Duff, and scores of others. Gwen Stefani's "Rich Girl" was one of hers, as was Clarkson's "Walk Away" and, um, "We Rock" from Camp Rock. She's won 10 BMI Pop Awards for having written the most performed songs on radio.

According to Fox's press release, the show was originally intended to have four judges (though the network didn't say why they've decided to add one just now). A Fox executive added that DioGuardi will mean "more girl power" on the judging panel.

I can't blame Idol for wanting to shake things up a little. It was still the biggest show on TV by far last season, but its ratings were down considerably from its strongest years. Still, is a fourth judge the best way to do it? The judging segments of the show can seem long and painful enough as it is. Then again, maybe it will be nice to have a judge whose schtick hasn't been played to death . . . yet. What's your take?

Photo courtesy of Fox

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