Put to rest the notions of an American Idol
shakeup, Kara DioGuardi
told reporters during a conference call Monday, hours after FOX announced that the songwriter and producer will join the show as a judge
DioGuardi, a music industry powerhouse, has penned and produced hits for Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson
and Christina Aguilera
(to name a few). She will meet up for the first time with Idol
's original judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson
and Paula Abdul
on Tuesday for the New York auditions of the upcoming season, which will air on FOX in January 2009.
Does Abdul, Idol
's lone female for seven seasons, feel threatened? DioGuardi doesn't think so.
"I haven't spoken to her. I would think she'd be excited," DioGuardi said, noting that she and Abdul collaborated on the Kylie Minogue
hit "Spinning Around" in 2000.
Fans who were surprised with the announcement that Idol will add another judge are not alone. "I almost fell off the chair," DioGuardi said of hearing from the show's producers, who approached her for the gig and are hoping to create "a new chemistry as well as keeping the old" with the expansion of the judges' panel.
DioGuardi told reporters she doesn't know where she'll sit or how four judges will break a tie during the auditions.
"I'm a little nervous," admitted DioGuardi, who said her approach to judging is simple. "I'm going to be a straight shooter and say it like I see it and maintain that philosophy."
So is she more of a Paula or a Simon? "I'm somebody who's really honest and gives an opinion," she said. "If I feel I need to be hard, I will be. And if I feel I need to be more nurturing, I will be."
One thing DioGuardi will have to get used to is being recognized. While she's known as one of the best in the music business, "I'm not a household name," she said. "I'm putting some money into buying some makeup." -- Monica Rizzo