A new seat has been added to the American Idol judges' table, and it belongs to Kara DioGuardi, Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer.

The famous trio that every "Idol" contestant boldly faces (Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell) will turn into a foursome. So why add another judge? No other than to start a fresh new perspective and balance to the long-running Fox television phenomenon.

Kara is just the addition the show needs to attract a younger audience. According to the show's creative and executive producer Simon Fuller, "She will bring a new level of energy and excitement to the show." Executive producer Cecil Frot-Coutaz revealed that they originally intended on having four judges in the first place. "We've seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers," adds Frot-Coutaz.

Will four be a crowd? Surprisingly no, and especially not for Paula. One might think Kara's presence would step on Paula's thunder as the lady of the judges' table, but in reality the two women go way back. Kara and Paula worked together on Kylie Minogue's song "Spinning Around" in 2000. Having two men and two women evenly dish out critiques and give insights on performances will be an interesting factor to the upcoming season's round of star-struck hopefuls, especially since this newcomer is no real newcomer at all.

Kara does indeed have a background with the show, having written many songs performed by former and current Idols. She wrote "Walk Away" by Kelly Clarkson and co-wrote songs for Bo Bice and Clay Aiken and current songs on the albums for last season's top two: David Archuleta and David Cook. She is certainly no stranger to the "American Idol" world, and now the time comes for her to step out into the spotlight.

So how does Kara feel about her new role in front of the cameras? The new Idol judge says it will be a "different experience," considering her past roles as being in the "back of the studio for 15, now 17 years." With an upbeat personality and a fresh attitude and perspective, it's a wonder why Kara was kept behind the screen for so long.

The new season of "American Idol" will air in January 2009.

Story by Jackie Sonnenberg
Starpulse contributing writer