Kara DioGuardi will be back at the judges' table for American Idol's ninth season.
"We are so happy to welcome back Kara for her second season with Idol," creator/executive producer Simon Fuller said in a statement in Fox's official announcement on Monday. "She is a breath of fresh air, and her passion for music and her understanding of talent is invaluable. This show is all about discovering new talent, and Kara's championing of Adam Lambert is proof positive of her great instinct."
Check out photos of DioGuardi on Idol
The Grammy-nominated songwriter's contract renewal follows host Ryan Seacrest's new $45 million deal and reports of Simon Cowell's $100 million-plus payday. Fox did not release details of DioGuardi's deal.
Fellow judge Paula Abdul, however, still hasn't reached a deal with Idol. Last month, Abdul's rep, David Sonenberg, told the Los Angeles Times that she was unlikely to return to the show if an agreement wasn't made soon. TVGuide.com's calls to Sonenberg and an Idol rep about Abdul's status on the show were not immediately returned on Monday.
DioGuardi , who has written hit songs for Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson and Pink, was a divisive topic among Idol viewers in her first season. The additional commentary from the fourth judge caused the show to run long numerous times, upsetting many DVR viewers. In May, nearly 60 percent of voters in TVGuide.com poll said they would prefer Idol to not renew her contract.
American Idol returns for Season 9 in January 2010. Are you glad to hear that Kara will be back?