Monday, January 5, 2009

What Will Kara Be Like?

While looking for bargains at an outlet mall on New Year’s Day, I ran across the “American Idol” edition of Monopoly that came out a few years back.

When I went to pay for it, the cashier asked me if I was a fan and then proceeded to tell me how disappointed she was with last season. I told her that this season would be much better thanks to all the changes the show is making.

But the next thing out of her mouth was the question everyone’s been asking during the “Idol” off-season…

“Who’s the new judge? What will she be like?”

I assured the cashier that Kara DioGuardi will be good. But the truth is I have no idea.

However, what I’ve been reading about her tells me that I’m right. Because if you’re expecting another Paula Abdul, you’re going to be disappointed…

So let’s answer that first question. Who is Kara DioGuardi? She’s most known as a songwriter and she’s written/co-written some of my favorite songs, including Hilary Duff’s “Fly” and “Come Clean.” You can currently hear her work in the new Pink single, “Sober.”

DioGuardi is the co-owner of ArtHouse Entertainment, a music production and publishing house. And she is also a VP of A&R at Warner Brothers Records, which means she regularly evaluates new talent.

So to say she’s qualified to be a judge would be a major understatement. But how about that second question. What will she be like?

Kara has gone the reality route before as a judge/mentor on ABC’s short-lived “Idol” knockoff, “The One: The Making of a Superstar.” But since that show was so bad, it’s really not fair to judge her by that.

A new interview in this week’s “Entertainment Weekly” gives us some better hints…

Here’s what she had to say about the audition:

“A lot of times people will sing a big song that they don’t have the voice for instead of bringing out the uniqueness in their tone. Another thing is, don’t cheese me out. It’s not a wedding band. And emote. Make me feel like you mean it. Don’t just sing the way the song was written. That was Mariah’s interpretation. Now what are you gonna do?”

See what I mean?

Another thing that will make Kara interesting is that she can sing very well. And during the auditions when contestants challenge the judges to do better, Kara actually does.

Kara reveals that the show tried seating her between Paula and Simon Cowell, but “they kept trying to communicate and I didn’t want to be in the middle of that.”

As for all of that talk about Kara and Paula not getting along, Kara says that they have “a good vibe.” Paula says that she feels more confident with Kara there because she has “an ally” now.

In fact, Kara might owe Paula her career. In 1998, when she was still working as the assistant to the editor of “Billboard,” she gave a songwriting demo to Paula. After listening to it, Paula flew her out to LA to live with her for a six-week collaboration. The result was “Spinning Around,” which became Kylie Minogue’s comeback single. Paula told “EW” that they “were the best roommates.”

At the end of the “EW” interview, Kara shows some concern that America will think she’s being too rough. “They may think my intensity and my boldness are [witchy].”

I’m getting more excited by the day…

You can read the entire article here

Photo Credit: FOX