03:25 PM EDT 08/24/2014
Originally posted 03/15/2010 07:00AM
We all have our defining moments, but few of us can say they happened when we sang on national television in a bikini. American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi is one of those few.
DioGuardi, 38, tells Women's Health that her stunt on last season's finale, when she stripped down to a two-piece bathing suit to belt out a duet with a contestant dubbed "Bikini Girl," was a pivotal point in her career. "It probably saved my job," she says. "It was a defining moment. Like, 'She's serious and industry, but also as kooky as everyone else on this panel.' "
It wasn't easy to get DioGuardi to do her little swimsuit act in the first place.
"I kept saying no," she says in the magazine's April issue. "I mean, what crazy nut is gonna go out there in a bikini at almost 40 years of age against a girl who is 20 and probably cosmetically enhanced? I looked a little pasty. But hey, at least I didn't wet myself!"
Originally posted 01/31/2010 12:45PM
No one can bring out the stars quite like Clive Davis! The music mogul's Pre-Grammy Gala & Salute to Industry Icons (this year honoring Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Doug Morris) is an annual tradition and one of the biggest parties of the year. And with a bevy of stars – including Jay-Z, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Russell Brand, Taylor Swift, Ne-Yo, Sheryl Crow, Adam Lambert and Barbra Streisand – in attendance, Saturday night's bash at the Beverly Hilton Hotel was no exception.
"It's one of those parties that you have to come to," Ciara, in head-to-toe Givenchy, told PEOPLE on her way in. "I'm excited to see everybody! It's cool to see people that you know, people that you don't know. It's always great to see Clive, and I'm just looking forward to having a great time."
Fergie, in a Zuhair Murad party dress, breezed down the red carpet in a hurry, stopping only to have a happy chat with Nick Jonas. But the singer had a good reason to rush: The Black Eyed Peas opened the show with Slash singing the classic Guns n' Rose's tune "Sweet Child O' Mine."
Originally posted 01/20/2010 11:30AM
Kara DioGuardi is not giving Heidi Montag's decision to have 10 cosmetic surgeries in one day high marks – but mostly she feels sad for the reality star.
"First of all, I just want to give the girl a hug," the American Idol judge said on The Bonnie Hunt Show Wednesday. "I don't know what's going on."
DioGuardi, who is used to advising young people with dreams of stardom, says the Hills star was doing just fine before she went under the knife.
"The thing is, you are in the peak of your career right now and you think you need to change," says DioGuardi. "Imagine when the tides turn and you don't have everyone in your face, then you are really going to be like, 'What is wrong with me?' "
Originally posted 09/21/2009 09:05AM
Ellen DeGeneres already has her first fan as an American Idol judge – Kara DioGuardi.
"I think it's a genius decision," DioGuardi, the judge who joined the top-rated FOX show last season, said at the Entertainment Tonight/PEOPLE Emmy after-party. "I wish I had thought of it."
Mostly, DioGuardi said she's looking forward to the new dynamic on the show now that DeGeneres is replacing the recently departed Paula Abdul as the show's "nice" judge.
Originally posted 07/06/2009 03:30PM
When American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi spoke to PEOPLE for the Most Beautiful People issue in May, she admitted that her fiancé, Mike McCuddy, loves her sans makeup. "He's from Maine," she explained. "He likes that earthy girl, just-out-of-the-shower look."
It was fitting then, that DioGuardi, 38, looked radiant on July 5 in Prospect Maine, at her wedding to McCuddy, 34, a general contractor.
"They were married at the Prospect Harbor United Methodist Church,” confirms a rep for DioGuardi, who added that the bride wore a Vera Wang dress.
Originally posted 05/29/2009 09:00AM
American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert may want America to keep speculating about his sexuality, but there's at least one person who has no doubt which way the 27-year-old singer swings: judge Kara DioGuardi.
"I don't think that Adam was ever in [the closet]," she says in a chat set to air on The View Friday.
Her comment came as part of a response to host Barbara Walters, who had asked if Lambert's controversial loss to Kris Allen was influenced by questions about whether Lambert is gay. Lambert has a penchant for eyeliner, nail polish, tight pants and flamboyant hair styles, and has been photographed kissing other men.
Originally posted 04/30/2009 03:40PM
She may have made PEOPLE's Most Beautiful list, but American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi has plenty of insecurities.
"I face them every day," the songwriter, who recently opened up about battling an eating disorder, tells PEOPLE. "When I was trying to be an artist, people would say, 'Maybe you need to lose a little weight; your nose is too big.' When it's time to go on stage, I think, 'Shave [down] your nose!'"
DioGuardi, 38, has other body anxieties too: "I'm most insecure about my legs and my knees. They're kind of big," she says. "I'm not someone who wears a lot of shorts and short skirts."
Originally posted 04/22/2009 06:30PM
American Idol's Kara DioGuardi has revealed that when she was younger, she battled an until-now secret affliction.
"I had kind of a binge eating disorder where instead of dealing with my emotions, I would stuff them down with food," the show's judge tells Extra. "I actually went into a treatment center for it."
DioGardi, 38, says she never starved herself or threw up. Rather, "It was definitely that excess eating to kind of just stuff all the emotions down ... I really was a creative kid who didn't know she was creative and didn't have those outlets because I was always afraid to join the theater group and not perform."
Originally posted 01/15/2009 07:25AM
Kara DioGuardi's engagement was both romantic – think candles and a Mexican vacation – and humorous.
"I was in, of course, my thermal smiley-face pajamas that one of my best friends gave me for Christmas," recalls the new American Idol judge of getting engaged on her 38th birthday in December.
DioGuardi says her fiancé Mike McCuddy, 34, lit some candles before popping the first of two questions.
"He said, 'I have a question: Do you know where my shoes are?'" she told reporters at FOX's Television Critics Association after-party on Tuesday.
Originally posted 01/13/2009 03:00PM
As the eighth season of American Idol premieres Tuesday, new judge Kara DioGuardi has some big news: She's getting hitched!
DioGuardi, 38, and Mike McCuddy, 34, were engaged Dec. 8 while on vacation in Mexico, DioGuardi's rep confirms to PEOPLE.
But don't expect wedding bells for the duo too soon. Adds the rep: "No wedding date has been planned."
So just who is Mike McCuddy? He's a former school teacher-turned-general-contractor. And, he's also a dad, according to a New York Times bio of DioGuardi, meaning she won't just be a new wife, she'll also be a new stepmom!
– Jessica Gold Haralson
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!