Dish Of Salt: New ‘Idol' Judge's ‘I Do' Details

The consensus seems to be split over whether adding new fourth judge Kara DioGuardi was beneficial or unnecessary for Season 8 of “American Idol.” A few critics have been praising her while others have been dissing her. On our Web site poll, 35 percent say you love her, 34 percent are not sure and 30 percent say no thanks. I’m reserving my judgment until we get to the live shows next month. 

I spoke with Kara this week about her big wedding news — she recently got engaged to her school teacher-turned-general contractor boyfriend, Mike McCuddy — and how she feels about 30 million people knowing her name after this week’s season premiere episodes:

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How did he pop the question?
We were in Mexico on vacation and we were just in the room. I was in my pajamas. We had some candles lit and he said ‘you know I love you’ and the whole thing and he said ‘I have a question for you. Where are my shoes?’ I said, ‘I don’t know where your shoes are!’ [He said] ‘O.K., well then will you marry me?’ I said ‘O.K.’ Very low-key. He has kind of an off sense of humor. So, I’m not telling it as funny as it was!

The ring is a little bit non-traditional, a David Yurman rather than a diamond ring?
Well, I think my style is different. Diamonds don’t really go so well with some of my other jewelry and my lifestyle. He could have given me a turtle and I’d be happy!

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“American Idol” Executive Producer Ken Warwick told me Paula Adbul was running around telling everyone she wanted to be your bridesmaid! (Actually, maid of honor, as I found out later from Paula, who said she was joking.)
You know what, I have [had] a best friend for many, many years but if Paula wants to come up and stand next to us, come, Paula. She is definitely invited.

Big wedding or small? Any ideas?
I don’t know, it’s not just what I want, it’s what he wants, too. I’m trying to take that in. I think he is more of a low-key guy. I don’t know how he will feel about a big, big wedding.

After this week, 30 million viewers will know your name. How does that make you feel?
O.K., uh… staggering, what can I say! Wouldn’t you be scared?

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Does it concern you to lose your privacy?
It does, you know, I really don’t know what’s going to happen in terms of, are people going to be interested in me, are they going to want to follow me around. I think that it’s more important that I do great on this job and that I actually find America’s next best thing.

Does being in your thirties make all this newfound fame any easier?
Much easier. I feel like I truly followed my dreams and realized it and no matter what happens whether people like me or not, I can take that to the bank. So, that feels good. I’m engaged. I’m in love, so that part of my life is not in flux. I just feel a lot more stable in my thirties and it’s a great time, a great time. I have nothing to complain about.

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