01/14/2009 at 12:00 AM EST
started auditioning contestants in Phoenix
Tuesday, but on the season premiere, somebody else had a big audition: new judge Kara DioGuardi
. The songwriter made her official debut as the fourth Idol
judge -- and made an overall positive impressions with PEOPLE.com readers.
Readers shared their favorable reviews of DioGuardi's performance, including "Tammy," who wrote, "LOVE having Kara on the show!" She continued: "This will be a great season."
Reader "Courtnee" called DioGuardi "an interesting addition to season 8," commenting, "I think I might actually stick around past the auditions this year!"
Viewers tended to agree. The show won its time slot, nabbing 30.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched prime-time show of the TV season so far. (Still, the ratings were down from last season's opener, according to the Associated Press
While most PEOPLE.com readers were excited about the show's new addition -- "She made good comments all around," a reader, "Alicia," wrote -- a few were more ambivalent about DioGuardi's performance.
Wrote "Karen:" "Haven’t made my mind up about Kara yet. She did kinda go crazy with that whole bikini girl thing. She should have just blown it off."
And "Stacey" commented, "Did not like Kara at all. She's conceited and obnoxious."