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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • FOX411 EXCLUSIVE: Kara DioGuardi spills on sharing stage with Ellen DeGeneres

    MTV Video Music Awards Arrivals

    FOX411 caught up with Kara between her New York Fashion Week and MTV VMA appearances. (PHOTO: AP)

    Kara DioGuardi, last season’s new judge on “American Idol,” tells FOX411 she’s thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres on the show full-time because now she’s not the new kid at school anymore!

    The songwriter says she’s excited to share the table with the comedian, and is also crossing her fingers that Ellen can convince Justin Timberlake to stop by the set.

    “It would be exciting if Ellen coaxed him into being on the show,” she told FOX411. “He’s a tremendous performer, and he’s made the leap from going from a band to a hugely successful solo career. We have a lot of performers attempting to do just that and it takes a very specific set of skills.”

    DioGuardi spent her weekend in and out of the hair and makeup chair getting ready to attend the MTV Video Music Awards and one fashion show after another in New York. FOX411 caught up with her at the Byron and Tracey salon at the Metropolitan Showtime house for our exclusive interview between her appearances.

    “I found out about Ellen on the plane to New York on Wednesday night, ” DioGuardi said. “I was taking a nap and my manager woke me and said, ‘Ellen’s going to be on Idol!’”

    DioGuardi said she had “heard rumblings, but everything is always a surprise to me on ‘Idol.’ I’m the newbie, so I show up an hour early for work. I’m like an eager puppy. The last few weeks with Paula leaving and Ellen joining were all very unexpected, but now there’s someone newer than me!”

    The “Idol” judge gave several reasons DeGeneres would make a great addition to the show. “Ellen has an incredible, positive attitude, and she’s a lover of music,” said DioGuardi. “She’s a die hard fan of ‘American Idol.’ She’s an accomplished performer, someone who’s won Emmys. She proves on her show that she can bring out the best in her fans and in her guests – even the audience. Ellen knows how to make people have a good time.”

    DioGuardi said DeGeneres brings an added star-maker’s eye to the judge’s panel, too. “Music, singing and arranging are an important part of the show, but the additional component is being a star, and Ellen knows how to be a star and give people a true sense of who she is. She’ll be able to bring out the stars on ‘American Idol’ this season.”

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