‘American Idol’ adds new judge

John Sturgeon

For seven years, “American Idol” has captivated audiences around the globe with its simple formula of young, unknown singers trying to become big stars.

The formula has catapulted the show to be the most watched program on TV.

People watch for different things, as some like to watch for their favorites and vote, while others tune in to see iconic judge Simon Cowell’s antics as he banters with contestants and the other judges.

Season 7 was one of the better seasons in a while, as producers made sure a lot of talented people with some type of entertainment background auditioned.

The show had its greatest finale ever, as the mega-talented rocker David Cook battled young pop sensation David Archuleta in a dramatic fight for the American Idol title. It was unique for the show that the two best singers made the finale for once, as in years past it had not always happened.

In the most gratifying moment of the season, David Cook deservedly earned the victory, as he was consistently great over the course of the season.

While Season 7 was a success, producers noticed that ratings were down across the board.

Even though the show remained No. 1 in the country, there was a realization that some changes had to be made to the format.

The first change made was to shorten all the results shows from an hour to a half-hour. This move will remove some of the fluffy guest performances and eliminate host Ryan Seacrest reading judges’ comments to every contestant before announcing eliminations.

However, this was not the biggest change producers had in store. “American Idol” was shaken to its core this past week when a fourth judge, Kara Dioguardi, was added.

Dioguardi is a Grammy-nominated songwriter who has produced music for stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Celine Dion, among others.

She currently is working with David Cook and David Archuleta on their debut albums that will be coming out in November under Idol’s 19 Entertainment record label.

For everybody who had gotten sick of Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson being the kind nurturing judges while Cowell called it like he saw it, not caring at all about the singer’s feelings, this will be a welcome change.

In interviews with TV Guide, Dioguardi called herself a “straight shooter.” If that is true, it will be nice for Simon to have a female counterpart who will also be brutally honest with the contestants.

Abdul has had drinking issues in recent years, and some experts think this is the producer’s way of easing her out of the judge’s chair.

Last year on a night where contestants sang twice, Abdul graded a male contestant on both of his songs even though he had only performed his first. This was an embarrassing moment, and maybe the show is finally getting fed up with her antics.

Producers state that the move was made to add “more girl power” to the show, while Cowell has said that Dioguardi can recognize talent and is cute.

In the end, Dioguardi will add a new voice to the show and spice up the banter between the original judges.