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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 8

New 'American Idol' judge Kara DioGuardi talks about eighth season


By John Bracchitta, 01/12/2009 

New American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi agrees with fellow judge Simon Cowell's opinion that male contestants seem stronger than the female contestants in the show's upcoming season.  However unlike Cowell, she's not quite ready to proclaim that she's "100%" sure a guy will end up walking away with the show's eighth-season crown.

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"Looking at all the contestants as a whole I felt that the males were the strongest," DioGuardi told reporters during a Thursday evening media conference call. "That being said, there are one or two females that I'm excited about as well and I'm really just waiting for the show to roll out and for the next phase to kind of see who is going to end up on top."

"I would say that there is a uniqueness to some of the male contestants that's different in terms of their voices and their songs they were picking and the general direction of what their record would be," she added. "What I feel very confident about is that the men in the competition, there are about five to ten that I think, at least five that are great.

However, while men may dominate the stage this season, DioGuardi said that she and fellow Idol judge Paula Abdul had introduced some "girl power" to the judges table and their male counterparts Cowell and Randy Jackson.

"I guess everyone has seen that bikini promo I'm assuming where we kind of side against the guys, they're maybe looking at the girls or whatever and they want to put someone through and we're just like, forget it," DioGuardi told reporters.

Additionally, DioGuardi didn't dispute statements by Cowell's in which he said he felt that she and Abdul had ganged up against him at times during auditions.

"You know, when he deserves it we give it to him.  And believe me, he deserves it sometimes," she said.

However, DioGuardi was far from dismissive regarding Cowell's often prickly opinion. In fact, she told reporters that she had agreed with his opinions at times.

"I definitely can sometimes see where Simon is coming from," she said. "I may not have said it quite the way he said it, but I also do believe in second chances early on and I know that if I hadn't had a second chance a lot of times I wouldn't be where I am today. I definitely grew as an artist and as a songwriter and sometimes you see potential in people and you have to think past some of the maybe mistakes they made because they were nervous or whatever, so I do believe in second chances."

"But third chances, that's another story," she added.

While DioGuardi felt that her first few days behind the judges table had been relatively mistake-free, she admitted to a few minor flubs and fashion tweaks that she had to correct.

"I think I would talk over people a lot because I didn't really know when to talk.  When do I speak?  Who is speaking now?  Who is going now? So, that kind of stuff," DioGuardi told reporters. "I think that was my biggest faux pas to be honest. And some of my [make-up and hair] looks in the beginning. I didn't get them all right.

As for what she expected to bring to the table as Idol's fourth judge, DioGuardi said that her experiences working with professional singers such as Christina Aguilera, Pink, Celine Dion, and several previous Idol winners had taught her how to work with singers and properly support them while giving them guidance as well.

"I think they're going to see somebody who is pretty feisty and opinionated, but is also coming from a good place, trying to help these contestants and impart my own experience to them so that at the end of the day whether they win or they lose they've learned something."

DioGuardi also added that, during her short time on the show so far, she hasn't developed signature line yet but she's been trying.

"I'm working on it.  I'm not sure I have the line yet, but give me some time," she told reporters. "It won't be within a month."

(Photo credit Fox)


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