Confirming weeks of rumors, FOX announced Friday that Kara DioGuardi is leaving "American Idol" after only 2 seasons. The songwriter and A&R executive joined the program in 2008. She was previously best known for writing hit songs for Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.
In a statement released by FOX, DioGuardi said, “I felt like I won the lottery when I joined 'American Idol' two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave 'Idol.' I am very proud to have been associated with [the show] — it has truly been an amazing experience. I am grateful to FOX, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, as well as the cast, crew and contestants, for all they have given to me. I look forward to my next challenge, and want to thank everyone who has supported me. All the best to everyone on Season 10!”
"Idol" creator and executive producer Simon Fuller praised DioGuardi, who had been expected to bring more real-life industry critiques to the contestants.
“Kara is one of the world’s best songwriters,” Fuller said. “She has been passionate and committed to 'Idol' over the last two seasons. I will miss having her on the show, but I look forward to working with her in music for many years to come.”
With DioGuardi's departure, only Randy Jackson is left from last season's quartet of judges. Simon Cowell announced his move to "X-Factor" in January of 2009 and Ellen DeGeneres left on her own accord earlier this summer.
Rumored replacements include Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Elton John.