American Idol spins around new judge

American Idol is adding a fourth permanent face to its panel -Grammy-nominated pop composer, Kara DioGuardi.

At a time when some talent shows are cutting back on their number of judges, American Idol is adding a fourth permanent face to its panel: Grammy-nominated pop composer, Kara DioGuardi.

Whether its adding or subtracting, the common denominator here is change, or being seen to effect change. Heaven forbid these shows should be seen to be standing still. The addition of a fourth judge follows the exit of producer Nigel Lithgoe, best known as an on air judge on So You Think You Can Dance.

DioGuardi will join Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson when it returns in January 2009. She has written and produced songs for Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera as well as past winners Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. Along with Paula Abdul she was one of 4 co-writers on Kylie Minogue’s “Spinning Around.”

Said to be self-assured with a matter-of-fact, no-nonsense style, DioGuardi is expected to provide a counterweight to the always polite Abdul.

“I’m going to be a straight-shooter,” DioGuardi said. “I’m just somebody who’s really honest and gives my opinion, and if I feel the need to be hard with someone in order to get that across, I will be. And if I feel I need to be softer and more nurturing with some of the contestants, I’ll be that.”

The most important quality she is looking for in singers, aside from a “great voice,” is a style that sets them apart.

“It’s not about vocal acrobatics. It’s about being unique and doing things that are identifiable to you,” she said. “What makes an artist is … when their song comes on the radio, I know exactly who it is.”

Source: Reuters

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