DioGuardi returning to ‘Idol’

Kara DioGuardi, a.k.a. “the fourth judge,” will be back on “American Idol” next season.

A person familiar with the situation confirmed that DioGuardi, a songwriter and producer who was added to the judging panel for its eighth season, has had her contract option picked up for the show’s ninth season.

“She’s coming back for a second season. She really enjoyed the first,” said the person, who asked not to be identified.

Filmed auditions will begin next Thursday in Denver.


And while the clock has been ticking on formal news about DioGuardi’s involvement, that announcement has been overshadowed by Paula Abdul’s public disputes with the “American Idol” producers over her recently expired contract.

David Sonenberg, Abdul’s new manager, told the Los Angeles Times on July 17 that she might not return to “American Idol” next season because the producers were being “rude” and “hurtful” in their treatment of her.

DioGuardi, in contrast, apparently sealed the deal to come back weeks ago, before the Abdul dispute occurred.

“She’s happy to be going to Denver next Thursday,” said the person close to DioGuardi.


-- Kate Arthur