I'm sure you're all as relieved as I am to wake this morning and find out that Kara DioGuardi has survived her first day on the job as the just-added fourth judge on American Idol. I mean, what with Paula Abdul reportedly "concerned" about whether the public would accept her and Simon Cowell already calling her "bitchy" before they'd even convened for their initial round of contestant adjudicating at New York's Chelsea Piers on Tuesday, you might think that DioGuardi is diving into the kind of metaphoric shark-infested waters that newly bit Ryan Seacrest can tell her may well be more dangerous than real ones.
Then again, the 37-year-old songwriter goes back with both Abdul and Cowell long enough that most of the supposed drama surrounding the New Judge On The Block is really just plain hype--which, of course, is the one real thing American Idol has proven itself good at producing (rather than, say, music). Paula's known Kara since 2000, when she met the then Billboard magazine employee outside a New York restaurant and wound up convincing the aspiring songwriter to immediately move to L.A. and stay with her. (Yes, we know--Paula tells everyone to do that.) And while the two were, as Paula recalls, "roommates," they did some writing together, resulting in a shared co-authorship on the Kylie Minogue hit "Spinning Around," thus indeed helping to launch DioGuardi's career.
As for Cowell and DioGuardi, well, all you need to know about that is that Kara's name has shown up in the writing credits on albums by so many former Idol contestants, from Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Stoddard to Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee, that she's not quite an unknown commodity to Cowell. Or show producer Simon Fuller--or really just about anyone connected to the Idol starmaking machinery, except maybe Randy Jackson, who immediately went on record as saying that, if nothing else, DioGuardi's presence on the show would make it "sexier."
Speaking of which, Cowell joked that in order to get everyone comfortable with their new setup, the four judges had a "picnic in the bedroom…I wore pajamas, the girls wore negligees and we kind of broke the ice."
Now before we all get nightmares even thinking about what that slumber party would look like, the least we can do is wish DioGuardi the best of luck, and offer a few tips on making it as the new American Idol judge. Like, at least once every show, be sure and tell Simon that he's a REALLY bad dresser. And whenever Randy calls anyone "Dog," when it's your turn, call them "Cat." Always make sure Paula doesn't have anything in her cup except soda or water. And don't ever forget to be very, very nice to Ryan--because one day there won't be a single show on TV, radio or the internet that he isn't the host of.