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'American Idol' judge Kara DioGuardi defends "Bikini Girl" criticism


By Christopher Rocchio, 01/14/2009 

Kara DioGuardi apparently doesn't have any problems with pretty American Idol hopefuls.

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The new Idol judge appeared as a Wednesday morning guest on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show and defended her criticism of Katrina Darrell, the eighth-season "Bikini Girl" hopeful who auditioned in Arizona wearing nothing but a bikini.

"I love pretty girls," DioGuardi told Seacrest.  "The thing with bikini girl was -- to be honest -- I thought she had a better body than she had a better face.  I thought the body was incredible."

Darrell sang Mariah Carey's "Vision of Love" during last night's eighth-season premiere, and she eventually received an invitation to the Hollywood Round despite DioGuardi's criticism that the 20-year-old lacked "swing."

Seacrest asked DioGuardi during the interview if her criticism of Darrell meant the new Idol judge "would not give positive feedback to pretty girls."

"Not true.  Not true at all, because there were some really pretty girls coming up," countered DioGuardi.


Katrina Darrell, a 20-year-old model and clothing designer from Chino Hills, CA, auditions during American Idol's eighth season premiere (Photo credit Michael Becker/FOX)
"Of course, I want a pretty girl.  But I'm not just looking for pretty though. I'm looking for an incredible voice, great stage presence. I'm a big champion of women. I'm not the kind of woman who's going to drag a woman down."

Seacrest also asked DioGuardi if she'd rather send a "pretty" girl or a "cute" girl through to Idol's Hollywood Round.

"It's hard to say. But pretty and cute... they're important," answered DioGuardi.  "It's a visual medium. You're going to see people on the covers and in the press.  It's important that they're pretty."

In addition, DioGuardi said Darrell most likely got what she was hoping for in wearing a bikini to the audition.

"To her credit, she's gotten so much attention. It was probably a good call to wear the bikini at the end of the day," DioGuardi told Seacrest. "But we wouldn't be talking about the bikini if she killed the song."

Seacrest also congratulated DioGuardi on her December 8 engagement to boyfriend Mike McCuddy, which the songwriter's representative confirmed yesterday.

"Actually we got engaged before but I didn't want to get into it really," DioGuardi told Seacrest, who subsequently asked if he could cover their eventual wedding live.

"Can you cover it live?  Yeah, that's exactly what I need -- you covering it live," she replied with a laugh.

(Photo credit Fox)


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