Three's No Longer a Crowd on 'Idol'

Kara DioGuardi joins "American Idol": Will she jive with Simon, Randy and Paula?

ByABC News
August 26, 2008, 11:15 AM

Aug. 26, 2008 — -- If three's a crowd, will four be a party for the judges on "American Idol" season eight?

The familiar Randy-Paula-Simon triumvirate officially becomes a quartet Tuesday with the addition of a fourth judge, songwriter-to-the-stars Kara DioGuardi, who joins the juggernaut show at open auditions in New York.

"I'm a little nervous," DioGuardi told ABC News. "But I'm up for it. I'm ready to take it on."

Grammy-nominated DioGuardi, 37, has penned hits for Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera and "Idol's" past and present -- including Kelly Clarkson and David Cook. She also boasts television talent-searching experience -- serving as a judge on ABC's "The One."

So how did DioGuardi land a plum gig and a front-row seat on the biggest show on TV?

DioGuardi said simply: "I'm a lucky, lucky girl."

More specifically, "Idol" producers reached out to DioGuardi and without so much as an audition with Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, tapped her to become the new judge. "Idol" fanatics are already salivating for DioGuardi details. Will she be the female Cowell or perhaps the articulate Abdul? Will she coin a phrase as overused as Jackson's "dawg"?

"I don't think I'm similar to anybody," DioGuardi said. "I have my own style. … I think that's why they brought me on."

DioGuardi describes herself as "feisty" and admits she's a sucker for a solid performance of "Imagine," but there is likely more substantial motivation for her hiring. She is diplomatic when asked if she thinks her addition to the show is an effort to jump-start slightly sagging ratings.

"It's obviously a really successful show, so it's really their choice what they want to do," DioGuardi said. "I really can't comment on…what it means."

But DioGuardi's presence is almost certain to create new chemistry at the judges' table. Cowell has congratulated her, but don't expect to see DioGuardi and Abdul giggling over their Coca-Cola cups. Abdul told a Phoenix radio station she's "concerned about the audience and acceptance."