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Kara DioGuardi on 'Fumbling' 'Idol' and Clashing With Simon

by PopEater Staff, posted Apr 26th 2011 4:30PM
For most of America, Kara DioGuardi is best known for her brief and widely dissected stint as a judge on 'American Idol,' and oh yes, flashing her bikini during the season 8 finale. But she is much, much more, as evidenced in her memoir 'A Helluva High Note.' DioGuardi is a Grammy-nominated songwriter whose songs have appeared on massive albums by Pink and Christina Aguilera. Besides being a talented songster, she writes honestly about her eating disorder, struggles to succeed in a male dominated business and what she really thinks about Simon Cowell.

In an interview with PopEater, DioGuardi talked about her confusing final days on 'Idol' and her up-and-down relationship with Cowell, as well her own personal struggles. We've excerpted some very interesting 'Idol' related bits here.

PopEater: It's amazing to me that when you were hired for 'American Idol' you got no television training.
Kara DioGuardi: I had nothing. They thought part of that would be fun like maybe I would do something funny.

Were you thinking on the first day, oh my God what have I done?
Totally. The first day I was already 12 hours into the work day and that's when the makeup started caking over and you get the drag queen version of yourself and then they're like time to do the auditions. I had been up since six, I had a thing in my ear for three hours doing satellite interviews, it was just crazy and then to actually have to go to the auditions at that point my head was spinning.

You never had a problem with Paula but you had problems with Simon.
I never had any issues with Paula. It was more they brought me on and didn't tell her. With Simon I felt like he wasn't letting me and he was the key to the panel. For whatever reason I just felt like the newbie. But then we got to a place where we respected each other and I learned the most from him.

He was like the cool kid in school.
Oh my God, he was such the cool kid in school. First of all he changed my name to Kara (said with elongated A's). I'm Kara (flat A). He had a rhythm and a cue and a way of doing things and I was totally fumbling around the first year.

You fought so hard to be respected in the music industry and then they talked you into appearing in a bikini.
I felt really pressured. I mean to have gone through an eating disorder and then have to get up in front of 25 million people in a bikini. I mean I don't want to even go to the beach in my bikini. But they thought it would be a great TV moment and in their defense it was and I was glad I got to give some money to my charity and that's basically what sealed the deal for me. I think in their own way they were trying to help me. They figured that people would like that and think that I was taking the piss out of myself and would like me more if I wasn't so serious.

Were you fired or did you quit?
I called them after I saw reports about the show and they said now that Ellen is leaving it's put everything up in the air because now we need to replace two people so we don't know what's going on. So I asked if I was fired and they said 'no' so I said well last week we were talking about auditions, am I definitely doing the show? And they said 'we can't say that for sure but you're definitely not fired.' I thought I'm not going to hang around and wait to see what happens so I sent them a letter asking them to release me from their contract which they would not do until they sorted it all out. I think the reality is that the panel was not set up until the very end.

What would you say to Simon if he called you for X Factor?
He wouldn't call me for that. (Laughs).

Have you spoken to him?
Yes I have. I don't know if he's read the book. He shouldn't be pissed. I said the most I learned was from him. I thanked him. I think of all people Simon's always talking about the brutal truth. I told him to his face last year, 'I did not like you then but I like you now.' He laughed and said something like, 'I just started liking you ten minutes ago.'

Seriously what's up with his man boobs?
Oh my God I have no idea. I mean they're firm and perky so that's good.

They look like a B cup.
I'll have to feel them for you next time I run into him.

You can read the rest of Nicki Gostin's interview with Kara DioGuardi on PopEater.

'A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love, and American Idol' is in bookstores and on Amazon now.

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She's a skag. And her songs are *****-iffic.

April 27 2011 at 8:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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