'American Idol's' Kara DioGuardi: 'What the hell do you get Simon Cowell?'

kara-dioguardi-american-idol-finale-press-conf.jpg Kara DioGuardi spoke with the press following the "American Idol" Season 9 finale performances. She addressed the change in coronation songs, her possibly taking over the role as "mean judge" and Simon Cowell's impending departure.

On the decision to change from original songs to covers for the coronation single, Kara says, "I don't really know whose decision that was, but I actually think it was a really good one. I think when you as a songwriter have to write about a winning moment and you're somebody who's not actually experiencing it ... it comes across as cold. Those songs were written by artists who actually did experience ... that moment of triumph, so when they're performed they have more depth and emotion."

Does she think she could step in to replace Simon Cowell as the "mean judge?  "I can only be me. There are times that I think I'm critical, but I aways try to give some positive reinforcement because as a creative person, everybody needs that," Kara explains. "If you just tell them what's wrong with them, they're never gonna grow. Especially in the early part of your career, you need someone to be your champion but also to tell you the truth."

When asked about Lee's perceived lack of confidence, Kara skirts the question a little, but does say, "I think that when it's your last performance you need to psych yourself up. You need to fight with everything loaded and ready to go. Every performance should be sung and performed like it's your last performance. But not to take away from the fact that the guy grew so much this season."

One bold reporter flat-out asked Kara if there was any doubt it was 3-0 Crystal. Kara's response?  "Dayum!"

"One girl came on, she knew exactly who she was from the beginning," Kara elaborates. "Another guy comes on and doesn't even know he can really sing ... she stayed steady and he grew ... it's a very compelling finale."

And finally, what of Simon Cowell's last show? "I know I've learned a lot from him. I've really enjoyed my time with him and I'm going to miss him."

But is she getting him a going-away present?

"What the hell do you get Simon Cowell?"

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Photo and video credit: Andrea Reiher, Zap2it