NEW YORK Scoot over, Simon Cowell. "American Idol" is adding a fourth critic to its panel of judges.
Grammy-nominated songwriter Kara DioGuardi will sit alongside Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson when the eighth season of "American Idol" premieres in January, the Fox network said Monday.
"For the past seven seasons, Paula has had to endure the experience of being the only woman at the judges' table," said Mike Darnell, president, alternative programming of Fox, in a statement.
"With Kara by her side, Paula has some backup and now there is going to be a lot more 'girl power' on the show," Darnell said.
DioGuardio's songs have been recorded by Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood and Pink, among others.
"We are turning the heat up on 'Idol' this year and are thrilled to welcome Kara to the judges' table," said creator and executive producer Simon Fuller in a statement. "She is a smart, sassy lady, and one of America's most successful songwriters. We know she will bring a new level of energy and excitement to the show."
Executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz said a fourth judge isn't a new idea.
"We had originally intended for 'American Idol' to have four judges," she said. "We've seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers."