The addition of DioGuardi, who is one of the most successful songwriters in the business, provides back-up for Abdul, who has often found herself at odds with her male counterparts over the past seven seasons.

DioGuardi also brings with her knowledge of what it takes to get a pop star on the charts, having written hits for Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Pink and many others.

Adding a fourth judge to the panel apparently isn’t something that just occurred to the “Idol” creative team.

“We had originally intended for ‘American Idol’ to have four judges,” executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz said in a statement. “We’ve seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers.”