No longer the new face at the American Idol judge's table, Kara DioGuardi is looking forward to another great season of judging the country's best undiscovered talent. On the heels of the season nine premiere, Kara chatted with About.com about Idol's new judge Ellen Degeneres, Simon Cowell's big announcement, her involvement in a new contest, and much more. Here's what she had to say:
Q: After watching Idol last night, I just have to ask. Was 'Pants on the Ground' stuck in your head after Larry Platt's audition?
"Definitely! Pants on the Ground was a very original song. I was thinking: Wow, if my grandparents had put it to me that way, like 'don't stay out late' or 'obey your curfew,' I may have paid more attention. I mean, what an interesting way to send a message."
Q: Do you think Larry Platt will be back for the finale?
"He may just have his pants on the ground in LA. You never know with this show what's going to happen."
Q: You're entering your second season on the show. Looking back at the first season, is there anything you would change? How do you think it went?
"I definitely think there was a learning curve with the first season, and every week I got more comfortable. It was very difficult to make the switch from behind the scenes to being in front of all those people every week. The thing that I would change is that I wish I had more background in TV so I could feel more comfortable. But I did the best I could and this year, I'm really growing as a judge and really putting the emphasis on the kids and making sure that all my energy goes into really finding the best contestant out there. There's always things you would change, like 'I said the wrong thing' or 'I wore the wrong outfit.' You can go back and it's easy to say what you would have done differently, but I have to look forward now and just make sure that I have a great season."
Q: What's the best advice you can give Ellen about being the new judge this season?
"I don't think I have to give her any advice. She's been holding her own in Hollywood week. She's been doing a great job. It comes very natural to her. She is funny and critical, knows about music, and I've really been impressed with her this week. She really fits right in."
Q: Were you surprised about Simon's decision to leave the show? What are your thoughts about him leaving?
"I was definitely surprised and sad. He is a huge part of the show. I can't imagine what it will be like next year at the auditions. It will be pretty wild to not have him there, but I also think the show is powerful and it can go on for many years. It's about finding talent and giving kids the chance at their dream. I think that's very powerful and stands on its own."