Former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi returns to tube as a TV music competition judge May 30 — but on a brand-new show, Bravo’s “Platinum Hit.” She tells us she didn’t think she’d be back “so fast, but I really loved the idea that songwriters were going to get some attention.”
Songwriter Evan Bogart (whose credits include Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Rihanna)” is one of the executive producers and creators of the show, she relates, and “he came to me about it. I thought a songwriting show would be interesting, but how do you do it?”
Good question. Watching contestants noodle around on a piano and scribble down ideas doesn’t sound like much of a show. But that’s not what “Platinum Hit” is like, assures DioGuardi, who toplines with Jewel. “Bravo is really great at creating drama and character development. Part of what makes great songwriters is where they come from — their truth. When you get to know their journey, you start to get emotionally involved. There were some character revelations along the way of people’s back stories that were really compelling. When they write from their truth — that’s when they really connect.”
DioGuardi wrote from her truth in her recently released “A Helluva High Note” memoir, including going through the hell of being molested as a young girl, and date raped when she was new in the music business. Going public with her past has proven to be exceptionally moving — particularly in response from readers who said they were inspired to deal with, or talk about, their own similar traumas.
“That’s really why I wrote it,” she says. “A lot of people write, ‘I’m glad you spoke about that.’ When you know someone else has gone through something, it helps to know you can get through it. You’ve got to keep moving, keep going on. You can’t let it get you down and stop you from living your life as you want, from pursuing your dreams.”
It’s an intense time for DioGuardi, who’s also awaiting word on the future of the USA Network “Big in Japan” series pilot on which she serves as producer. “It’s about an old boy band, 10 years later, after the peak of their fame. But they’re still always big in Japan,” she explains with a laugh. Besides that, “I’ve been doing a lot of country writing,” says Kara, whose songwriting credits include tunes for the likes of Pink, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera and Céline Dion. “I’m loving it down in Nashville. It’s a very song-centric industry. Songwriters are revered down there.”
With it all, she admits, “I haven’t watched that much” of the current season of “American Idol.” “It’s not because I’m not a big fan of them. I am. But that’s what I do every day — I have artists coming into my office all the time,” says Kara, executive vice president of talent development at Warner Bros. Records. She’s quick to add, however, “I’ve been hearing great things about the show this season, especially about Steven Tyler.”