Simon Cowell Says Kara DioGuardi Isn’t Leaving ‘American Idol’

'Everyone's going to be back,' the judge told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show.

Although Kara DioGuardi and Paula Abdul have said they aren’t sure if they’ll be back for another season of “American Idol,” fellow judge Simon Cowell told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show Tuesday (May 5) that the whole panel will be back for more when the show returns next year.

“Everyone’s going to be back,” he said. “Absolutely.” He added that the advantages of keeping DioGuardi, whom he describes as “cute,” outweigh the disadvantages now that he’s gotten over how “awkward” it was when she initially came on.

One of his concerns was that an extra judge meant less time for the panel’s critiques. “One week, literally, we couldn’t talk, so 10 minutes before the show started, they said, ‘Oh, by the way, you can’t talk for half the show,’ ” Cowell recalled of the “two judges at a time” format. “It’s rather like saying in a singing competition to the singers, ‘Half of you can’t sing.’ It was just crazy.”

Simon, who has spent a good portion of the last decade alongside Randy Jackson and Abdul, admits that all good things must come to an end. “It’s been honestly the best eight, nine years of my life,” he said. “But I just believe sometimes everything has to come to an end.”

Until “Idol” has its final curtain call, Cowell is thinking that Adam Lambert has a great chance at winning this season’s title. “If it was me, based on originality and worldwide appeal, I would say Adam. He’s unique. I like the fact he’s fearless,” he said. “He’s not playing it safe. A lot of the people that take part in these shows want to sing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ every week because it’s a sappy song. He’s got guts.”

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