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FOX and Kara DioGuardi have confirmed months of speculation that the 39-year-old singer-songwriter-producer will not be returning as a judge on American Idol.

The network quietly made the announcement Friday evening via a press release, which included statements from DioGuardi and show execs.

“I felt like I won the lottery when I joined American Idol two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave Idol,” said DioGuardi, “I am very proud to have been associated with American Idol — it has truly been an amazing experience. I am grateful to FOX, Fremantle Media and 19 Entertainment, as well as the cast, crew and contestants, for all they have given to me. I look forward to my next challenge, and want to thank everyone who has supported me. All the best to everyone on Season 10!”

“Kara was a great addition to our Idol family. I’ve been fortunate to get to know her well, and have always been amazed by her eye for talent and her commitment to developing and mentoring artists. She will be missed, and we wish her continued success.” –Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company

“Kara is one of the world’s best songwriters. She has been passionate and committed to Idol over the last two seasons. I will miss having her on the show, but I look forward to working with her in music for many years to come.” –Simon Fuller, American Idol creator and executive producer

“As one of the most proclaimed songwriters in the U.S., Kara brought a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to American Idol. We are very grateful for the time she spent on the show, and we wish her nothing but the best in all her future endeavors.” — Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Idol executive producer

Simon Cowell left the show in May after nine seasons, while newcomer Ellen DeGeneres announced in July that her first season on the show would also be her last.

Idol is expected to return to a three-judge panel for season 10 in January 2011, as the show works to lock down Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

Kara DioGuardi Bikini Photo Shoot

Photo: WENN