“American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi is officially out, Fox confirmed Friday.
News wasn’t a surprise, as most observers had expected DioGuardi’s exit as part of ongoing changes on “Idol.”
“I felt like I won the lottery when I joined ‘American Idol’ two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave ‘Idol,'” DioGuardi said in a statement. “I am very proud to have been associated with ‘Idol’ – it has truly been an amazing experience.
Move makes Randy Jackson the last remaining judge on the show from last season. Jackson is expected to remain on “Idol,” even though Fox is still mum on what the show’s new judge lineup will look like. (“Idol” exec producer Nigel Lythgoe has expressed support for Jackson in recent days, calling him the barnacle” of the show.)
Fox is also expected to finally announce the addition of new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as soon as next week. That’s based mostly on an educated guess, as “Idol” must have those judges in place by mid-September as auditions head into the next level.
Original judge Simon Cowell departed at the end of this past season, while Ellen DeGeneres announced last month that she wouldn’t be back for a second year as judge.
DioGuardi spent two seasons on “Idol,” joining the panel as part of an earlier overhaul.
DioGuardi’s exit bolsters expectation that “Idol” may return to a three-judge format this January. The show’s decision to expand to four judges has garnered criticism, as the show’s running time has frequently spilled out of its timeslot to accommodate everyone’s opinions.
DioGuardi is a successful songwriter who has written music for Pink, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
“Kara was a great addition to our ‘Idol’ family,” said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “I’ve been fortunate to get to know her well, and have always been amazed by her eye for talent and her commitment to developing and mentoring artists. She will be missed, and we wish her continued success.”
DioGuardi’s exit had been expected. According to some published reports, she was even rumored to have told friends that Fox wasn’t returning her calls.