They're adding a fourth judge to American Idol, and as far as I can tell, it's further proof that they will need to change the name from American Idol to American Arranger. Grammy-nominated songwriter Kara DioGuardi will join Paula and Simon and Randy. Read about it here. Here is a blurb on her credits:
DioGuardi-written or co-written hits include Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man," Gwen Stefani's "Rich Girl," Kylie Minogue's "Spinning Round," Celine Dion's "Taking Chances" and the PCD's "Beep" and "I Don't Need a Man." Her songs have also been recorded by Pink, Hillary Duff, Paris Hilton, Ashlee Simpson, Marc Anthony and several "Idol" alums, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Katharine McPhee, Taylor Hicks, Bo Bice and Clay Aiken.
Anyone who's heard any of the first three songs listed knows that they were creatively sampling many very interesting sources, like Fiddler on the Roof. Those songs were creative for sure, but had as much to do with creatively using songs already in the public consciousness as much as inventing new melodies.
Which is exactly what AI has started to become, as winner David Cook gets mucho props for using alternative arrangements of songs, and even runner-up David Archuleta got props for destroying John Lennon's Imagine with his un-soulful runs and creative omission of lyrical content. It's the only way to stand out in this competition anymore - everyone's heard the way the song "was done" before, and after seven seasons, it's going to be even harder to find a unique take on a song or stand out in any way. Just adding instruments isn't enough.
I do think it will be good if Kara ends up sounding as though she has intelligence within the field. It would be the first time a woman would have done that regularly on AI, and long overdue. No wonder Paula is "concerned..."
UPDATE: Kara in her own words...