Kara DioGuardi celebrates being named Co-Songwriter of the Year during the 55th Annual BMI Pop Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., in a Tuesday, May 15, 2007 photo. Grammy nominated songwriter DioGuardi has joined "American Idol" as a fourth judge and will sit alongside Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson at the judges’ table. The eighth season of "American Idol" premieres in January, 2009, on FOX. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
Scooching in between Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson sounds intimidating, if not a little scary. But Kara DioGuardi, the newly installed fourth judge on "American Idol," is confident she'll find her niche within the bickering, ratings tested judges' panel where the line between love and hate is blurred with every critique. "I'm just gonna speak to Simon the way I speak to everybody," Kara told reporters during a teleconference Monday. "I'm just gonna have my opinion, be honest and I don't foresee any problems. She is really excited about this, and up for the challenge." The Grammy nominated songwriter will make her debut when the eighth season of "Idol" premieres in January, the Fox network said Monday. It's not yet clear how ties will be broken in the audition process in past seasons, two out of three judges had to agree to advance aspiring pop stars to the Hollywood round. And something will have to give during the telecast that barely has enough time to fit in three judges' opinions. Kara, now the youngest "Idol" judge at 37, said she leads a "low-key" life. In that case, she'd do well to prepare for the instant celebrity that comes with appearing on the most popular and lucrative reality show on television.