Randy, Paula, Simon ... and Kara? Idol adds judge

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 25th 2008 10:42AM
Kara DioGuardiMaybe they got tired of the criticism the current panel has been getting for their devolving into piles of cliche-ridden goo. Maybe it's a test run to see if they can find someone the audience can embrace so they can get rid of one of the other three judges. Maybe it's just because they wanted to have four judges from the beginning and it just took them a long time to get there.

Kara DioGuardi joining American Idol as a fourth judge is an interesting choice. As an award-winning songwriter and producer she definitely has the credentials to be involved as a judge on a singing competition. but the show almost never features original songs. You'd think that having a great songwriter on the panel would inspire the addition of a songwriting aspect to the show. I'd love to see the contestants challenged to write their own music, or in some cases bring some of the original music they've already created to the stage.

I know it probably wouldn't be fair because not all singers are songwriters. But many are, and with the addition of instruments this past season, the show is clearly trying to emphasize a greater focus on the musicality of the contestants. What could be pretty entertaining is seeing how she reacts to the original song competition nominees. Simon and the rest of the panel pretty consistently slam those into the ground, and rightfully so.

DioGuardi has written songs performed by Gwen Stefani, Hilary Duffy, Nicole Scherzinger, Pink, Avril Lavigne, the Jonas Brothers, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus and Idol alumni including Katharine McPhee, Clay Aiken, Bo Bice and winners Taylor Hicks, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson ("Walk Away"). She'll certainly add to the girl power on the show and with such hip credits, she brings a current relevance to the panel. It'll be nice to see someone so entrenched in the music of this generation critiquing these young singers of this generation.

I think it's a good move by FOX. At 37, DioGuardi joins Jackson (52), Abdul (46) and Cowell (48) as the youngest judge on the panel. Going into the eighth season of any show, they always try to inject some youth. Of course, that's normally done by bringing in some annoyingly cute nephew or having a new baby, but this is Idol and I don't think any of us want to think of an Abdul-Jackson or Abdul-Cowell spawned baby running around.

But bringing in a pretty, younger judge who definitely knows about music that young people like is a great idea. The question to be faced now is how receptive audiences will be to the change. And how quickly they will start to call for Paula's ouster from the panel now that there is another woman there. If the cries don't start before the season even begins, then I figure it'll take one loopy comment from here and the web will explode with "why do they need her?"

Is this Simon flexing his newfound muscles on the show? Is he implementing our own Jane's master plan for shaking up American Idol? I think she's got some great ideas there! If Randy doesn't straighten up his act and get back to real criticism, I'd almost rather see him go than Paula. At least Paula's entertaining.

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rick cokely said...

They couldn't get someone with more star recognition? I mean really, why not Diddy or someone that actually is known?

I couldn't agree more! Who is she? lol

September 17 2008 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick cokely

They couldn't get someone with more star recognition? I mean really, why not Diddy or someone that actually is known?

August 26 2008 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is like adding Cousin Oliver to a fading show--as if that is really going to help it gain more viewers.

August 25 2008 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

She was one of the judges on that horrendous AI rip-off that ABC did a coupla summers ago. It lasted only 2 episodes, after the 1st episode got the lowest primetime rating in the history of ABC.

Wonder if they ever awarded the grand prize record contract to one of the 8 contestants who were never eliminated, before the cancellation.

August 25 2008 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think FOX wanted a 4th judge from the start. Rupert Murdoch actually inserted himself in the discussion and made it very clear that NOTHING about the show's Briitsh format was to be changed, hence the two host format from season 1.

The show's original producers are now gone - we're going to see plenty of changes down the line.

I just hope they don't screw things up.

August 25 2008 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd like to see them see more contemporary music right off the bat. Then if they must have the themes, do that once we are further into the competition. Let them sing in their style first so we can see who is really good.

August 25 2008 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it's because they finally released that the judges they have won't stay forever. Simon already stated he's gone after 3 (?) more seasons.

The songwriter idea is fine, if they aren't forced to do it, however with the theme weeks how would that work?

August 25 2008 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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