by Free Britney at

American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi predicted a male winner and discussed other elements of the show, such as Simon's close talking, with Jay Leno last night.

Asked about the current season, she admitted a soft spot for Michael Lynche, a.k.a. Big Mike, who moved her to tears with last week's performance: “I love him,” she said.

Kara blamed her Italian heritage for getting so emotional, but couldn't hide her affinity for Lynche, as well as her theory (or so it appeared) that a male will win this season.

She also suggested that Simon Cowell might be suffering from separation anxiety from Mezghan Hussainy lately, as he's been leaning in close to her a lot on the show.

When Leno brought up her “bikini moment” (complete with picture), the phrasing of Kara’s response seemed to betray the influence of sitting near Simon every week: “It showed I could kinda take the piss out of myself,” she said.

Alright then.

Who do you think will win American Idol this season? In other Kara news, her father, Joe, is running as a Republican for U.S. Senate in New York State!

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by Hilton Hater at

There's little question that Kara DioGuardi is annoying on American Idol.

She comes across as cocky and condescending, taking extreme offense any time Simon makes a dig in her direction and somehow managing to be neither reassuring to the contestants nor especially criticial. She doesn't even have a Randy Jackson, dawg-like catchphrase.

But there is one debate regarding this singer/songwriter: Is she attractive?

We wondered about this issue when DioGuardi strutted her stuff in a bikini on last May's Idol finale. We're now forced to ponder the question again because Kara is featured on Maxim.com:

Kara
  • Kara in Bikini
  • Hot?
  • Kara for Maxim
  • Pretty in Maxim

During an interview with the men's magazine, DioGuardi touches on her fellow judges. A few excerpts:

On missing Paula Abdul: During the auditions, I missed her. She was so nurturing, and I try to have some of that in my critiques. I wouldn't say I have the maternal instinct that she had, though. I'm a little bit more New York, a little more hard-edge.

On Simon leaving the show: All I can say is the guy can do things not many folks can get away with, and people like when someone is true to himself.

On the addition of Ellen DeGeneres: I was like, "Rock on!" Are you kidding? The thing with Ellen I don't think everybody understands is that she's a huge music lover. That's what you need to be on Idol.

DioGuardi stood up for Ellen yesterday, following the latter's first night as a judge. But we still come back to the pertinent topic at hand.

These photos are Kara are...

 

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by Hilton Hater at

As recounted in our American Idol rundown from last night, we thought Ellen DeGeneres made an outstanding debut as a judge. She was fresh, funny and didn't try to overshadow the contestants.

From most of what we've read online, almost all television critics agree with that assessment.

So we found it odd that Kara DioGuardi spoke to E! News today and defended her new cohort from attacks on her Idol premiere, attacks we weren't aware existed.

"How it's edited and what you see is very different from my experience," Kara said. "I remember just thinking she was very funny and critical and had heart... It's edited in a specific way. It has to be. It has to be about the contestants."

The sentiment is nice, but it's hard for DioGuard not to come across as condescending, considering how many viewers don't like her very much.

The Judging Panel

Kara added that it was impossible to compare Ellen and the woman in whose seat she occupies.

"Paula and Ellen [are] completely different, and I think they both bring something valuable to the table... It's something that takes time to get used to, and I think [Ellen] did an incredible job for her first time there."

So do we! So do most people we've talked to.

In closing, DioGuardi said "I would love to see a girl win" and, based on one night of Hollywood auditions, she may get see that hope come true. Didi Benami, Crystal Bowersox, Haeley Vaughn and Janell Wheeler all stood out this week.

What did you think of Ellen as a judge?

 

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by Hilton Hater at

As American Idol delves deeper into its ninth season, fans will start to concentrate on potential break-out artists and finalists such as Katelyn Epperly and Aaron Kelly.

For now, though, the upcoming departure of Simon Cowell is still a major topic. What does Kara DioGuardi think about her fellow judge saying goodbye?

Pia Toscano Sings on American Idol

"He's a huge part of the show," she said at a Golden Globes party. "He's got one of the best personalities ever on a television show... He's made the show hugely successful, and he's going to be very missed."

Who might fill Cowell's seat? DioGuardi seemed stumped by that question, but doesn't believe Ryan Seacrest will pull double duty on future seasons.

"I don't see Ryan giving up what he's currently doing on Idol," she said. "What he's doing now works for him perfectly... I have no idea who will or who should replace Simon."

Do you, readers? Chime in now with your suggestions!

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by Hilton Hater at

It's official: Ellen DeGeneres is part of the American Idol family.

The comedian was announced as the show's fourth judge, taking over for Paula Abdul, months ago. But she now appears in a series of promotional photos for the competition and there's truly no going back.

Ellen will debut on the panel on February 9.

Prior to that, Idol will feature a number of celebrity guest judges - including Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Jonas, Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry - as it narrows its season nine field down to the Hollywood round.

The New Panel

American Idol will begin its search for the next Kris Allen, Adam Lambert or Carrie Underwood is less than a week! It premieres on January 12 and THG will be there every step of the way, posing almost-daily reviews, recaps and videos of contestants.

Won't you join us? For now, check out Ellen and the rest of the cast below:

  • Ellen as a Judge
  • Simon Photograph
  • Randy Jackson Pic
  • Seacrest
  • Ellen Promo Pic
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by Hilton Hater at

When asked why Adam Lambert has been booted off multiple ABC programs this month, Kara DioGuardi channeled Bill Clinton. She basically said:

It's the economy, stupid.

"We're living in a pretty bad economic time, so they have to do what they have to do to keep their advertisers," DioGuardi told E! News. "Networks are doing what they think their viewers want and don't want, so it's just budgetary."

Lambert, of course, found himself in hot water after he performed an excessively racy rendition of "For Your Entertainment" at the American Music Awards. Since then, ABC has canceled two of his previously-booked appearances on its network.

Many fans are citing an unfair double standard against the singer.

If they boycott the network, ABC might really need to worry about its advertisers!

Adam and Kara

The American Idol judge, who returns for her second season on the panel next month, also defended the crooner.

"We always know he's going to shock us, right? He's going to wow us and give us the unexpected, and that's his thing...That's what we look for."

In other words, ABC: you can't book Adam Lambert for a gig and then act surprised when he flaunts his sexuality.

DioGuardi knows a thing or two about that, as well: she stripped down to her bikini during the show's May finale; and said husband Mike McCuddy sees even more than that at home:

"I give him his own personal videos - sans the bikini."

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by Hilton Hater at

On American Idol, Paula Abdul is out and Ellen DeGeneres is in.

On America's Top Talent, meanwhile, an even more controversial switch has taken place: Kara DioGuardi has been replaced by Miley Cyrus!

Just for one episode of the latter's TV show, that is.

DioGuardi guest stars on the October 18 episode of Hannah Montana, as the title character fills in for her (alongside judges Andy and Byron) on the aforementioned made-up competition.

Hannah's experience as a guest judge gets complicated, though, when Oliver auditions and does a great job. Below, Cyrus and DioGuardi interact in a scene:

Look at that: we just wrote an entire article about Miley without mentioning her typically grating, self-serving, pompous behavior. Aren't you proud of us? We knew we could do it!

Check out three more shots of DioGuardi guest-starring on Hannah Montana below:

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by Hilton Hater at

Some highly-respected, hilarious, attractive celebrity gossip websites aren't sure if Ellen DeGeneres is the best choice for an American Idol judge.

But last year's new addition to the show, Kara DioGuardi, is not among the skeptics. She had nothing but glowing praise for Ellen when asked about her at an Emmy Award after-party.

"I think it's a genius decision," DioGuardi told People. "I wish I had thought of it... I would say she would probably be somebody who would be fair in her criticism and will try to be as supportive as she possibly could. I think it's going to be a lot of fun." 

Kara at the Emmys

As for Ellen, she's aware of the criticism her selection has been met with. Regarding the type of judge she'll be, DeGeneres said:

"I will be kind. I will be compassionate. I will be empathetic, and I will be truthful. I will be an honest judge without being mean."

We'll find out in January what that translates into. For now, be sure to listen to the first single from last year's winner, Kris Allen!

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by Hilton Hater at

When Kara DioGuardi was hired as a fourth judge last season on American Idol, critics believed it was a maneuver meant to prepare the show for Paula Abdul's departure.

That departure took place this week, but DioGuardi is in shock over it.

"I can't get over it. I'm completely shocked," she said on Ryan Seacrest's radio show today. "It's such a loss for the show, such a loss for the contestants. She's definitely the heart of the panel."

Kara and Paula

What, precisely, will Kara miss about her friend?

"The kind of heart she treated the contestants with she treated me with last year," she said. "She was so kind to me and made me feel immediately like part of the panel."

DioGuardi also made it clear that her addition to American Idol had nothing to do with Abdul's future.

"The way I'm understanding it is that it was her choice to leave. I never was here to replace her. It would be impossible to replace Paula Abdul. She's an incredible talent. She is somebody who helped make the show as big as it is. How could you ever replace that?"

Well, Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry will try. Each has been hired as a guest judge on season nine.

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by Hilton Hater at

Fans are split on whether or not Kara DioGuardi's return to American Idol is a good thing.

But show executives are reacting to the news like the judge is the second coming of Simon Cowell. Here's what Fox president of alternative programming, Mike Darnell, said of DioGuardi:

“Kara’s spitfire personality and sharp musical sensibility infused American Idol with a new energy last year. She clearly has a keen eye for talent - spotting Adam Lambert’s superstar quality early on last season - and her performance on the season 8 finale was one of the most memorable in recent Idol history.”

Darnell forgot to mention that Kara has to lighten the heck up. She isn't actually God's gift to music.

Said American Idol producer Simon Fuller:

"We are so happy to welcome back Kara for her second season with Idol. She is a breath of fresh air and her passion for music and her understanding of talent is invaluable. This show is all about discovering new talent, and Kara’s championing of Adam Lambert is proof positive of her great instinct.”

Earlier this summer, DioGuardi got married to Mike McCuddy.

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