Idol Chit-Chat
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Is a Fourth Judge a Paula Exit Strategy?

So, my first reaction to the news this morning that “Idol” was adding a fourth judge was “Wow, I bet Simon’s unhappy.”

My second reaction? “They’re squeezing Paula out”…

The official party line is that a fourth judge will add some excitement to the show.

In the official FOX press release, executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz said, “We had originally intended for ‘American Idol’ to have four judges. We’ve seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers.”

“Idol” guru Simon Fuller echoed her comments saying they were “turning the heat up” on the show this year. “[Kara] is a smart, sassy lady, and one of America’s most successful songwriters. We know she will bring a new level of energy and excitement to the show.”

But are they hoping she will eventually fill Paula’s chair? That’s the buzz all over the Internet today as people are speculating that a fourth judge allows Paula to bow out gracefully.

I just still can’t believe that they decided to unleash this on Simon after the numerous times he’s said how much he’s against a fourth judge…

As for Dioguardi herself, she said in an interview on FOX’s press site that she’ll bring her “unique experience” to the show as a singer, songwriter and producer. “I’m also very opinionated and pretty feisty and not afraid of a good confrontation, so I’m looking forward to it. Bring it on.”

If the name Kara DioGuardi sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve mentioned her many times as a songwriter for Idols like Kelly Clarkson (“Walk Away”), Bo Bice (“The Real Thing”), Clay Aiken (“The Way”) and many, many more (including both the Davids). She’s actually written or co-written many of my favorite songs.

As I said before, she’s definitely got the musical chops, but I just don’t see how this is a good thing. If they wanted to inject a new energy into the judges, they should have actually replaced one of them.

And in case you’re wondering, I would’ve gone with Randy…

So what do you guys think? Is this a good way to revitalize “Idol” or is this just an exit strategy for Paula?...
Photo provided by FOX