Imagine being the newbie when the rest of the class has spent eight years getting thisclose and developing a finish-each-other's-eye-rolls chemistry. Tuesday night was the first chance for America to see how producer/songwriter Kara DioGuardi handled being on the hot seat as the first permanent fourth judge on the once iconic
Before turning to the tryouts in Phoenix, Arizona, Tuesday night's season premiere opened with a primer on DioGuardi's background writing songs for
When first contestant Tuan Nguyen did his worst
One audition round in, DioGuardi appeared to have already developed a chummy, shoulder-slapping relationship with Randy Jackson, a girl-power bond with Paula and no major conflicts with Simon Cowell.
She was officially welcomed to the "Idol" franchise by a wacky contestant who professed to be her "#1 fan!" and deftly employed Jackson's favorite path-to-Hollywood phrase, "150 percent yes." While she didn't exactly shake things up, DioGuardi managed to slip right in seamlessly without visibly struggling to find the difficult balance between being supportive and cutting, like some previous temporary guest judges.
Her shining moment was having Katrina "Bikini Girl" Darrell do a once-around for the sake of the male judges ... and then challenging them when they put Darrell through to the next round. But not before she practically threw down with the bathing beauty and challenged her to a sing-off, becoming the first judge to call a contestant a "bi---."
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