Many people dream of one day being a star, to be worshiped by adoring fans and constantly in the spotlight. This dream has been realized by countless individuals, but the popular television show, American Idol, has been able to create superstars seemingly overnight.
Thousands of contestants from around the country audition in the hopes of making it to Hollywood, where the journey to superstardom can begin. Some people thrive in the competitive environment and release raw talent that lies within, while others crack under intense scrutiny.
Over the years, American Idol has produced gifted artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordan Sparks and, most recently, David Cook. Now in its eighth season, the panel of judges look to find a new singer to take the world by storm.
Traditionally, the show has been made up of three judges: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.
Abdul is an ex-pop star who is known more or less as the “nice” one. Cowell is an Englishman who has no problem speaking his mind and adds an obvious flair to the group. Jackson is a musician who has performed with various bands, and he provides a happy medium among the other judges.
In order to receive a golden ticket, a contestant only needs the approval of two out of the three judges.
This season, however, the show made a big change and added producer and songwriter Kara DioGuardi as the fourth judge.
Senior sport management major Lucious Cotton said, “I think it should be the original judges, but to make it even, they added another woman.”
So what happens when the decision is split?
This has already been an issue with contestant Katrina Darrell, better known as “bikini girl.”
Both Jackson and Cowell agreed she was good enough, while Abdul and DioGuardi felt otherwise. After a heated battle, the judges came to an agreement, and she was permitted to move on to the next round.
Senior history major Luke Beasley said, “I think it’s good to have four judges because it evens them out. Plus you get to see a different perspective.”
The real question is, who is the new face that is holding the key to a hopeful’s dream, and why the change from three? Kara DioGuardi is a new face but she is no stranger to the music industry.
She began writing her own songs while working a desk job at Billboard Magazine. In 1995, she received a record deal with MCA. It was Abdul, however, who gave her the break that led to the successful career she now has.
Abdul gave the pop artist Kylie Minogue a copy of DioGuardis’ album, and she used the song “Spinning Around” on her album. The song became a hit, and since then DioGuardi has known nothing but success.
Junior accounting major Erica Winekauf said, “I didn’t like her at first, but I think she is going to be a good person to have on the show. She seems like she will stand up to Simon, which is definitely needed.”
She has written songs for more than 100 million albums and has worked with big names such as Britany Spears, The Jonas Brothers, Avril Lavigne, Faith Hill, Pink, Ricky Martin, Santana, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion and many more.
Now she takes her place on American Idol next to her friend, Abdul, as the fourth judge.