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'American Idol' producer Ken Warwick admits, 'It got a bit boring'

December 15, 2008 |  1:29 pm

“Wherever we can, we want to change things up a little bit,” said “American Idol” executive producer Ken Warwick during a conference call with the media this afternoon. During the call, Warwick echoed the sentiments from his exclusive conversation with “Idol” expert Richard Rushfield.

Warwick confirmed that the ninth season of “Idol” will feature a wild card round in which the judges can rescue eliminated contestants. “By the time we got down to the final 8 ... if any of them didn’t have fantastic characters, it got a bit boring,” confessed Warwick. Thus, the wild card round will prevent a group of dullards from highjacking the ninth season.


Warwick was pumped about newly added judge Kara DioGuardi, not only because she helps Paula Abdul stand up to Simon Cowell but also because Kara is "a great singer ... she can — and does — say, ‘You should sing it like this,’ and lets rip.”

Warwick also confirmed the rumored reintroduction of behind-the-scenes contestant footage. “It’s back in. I like that a lot ... I can’t remember the reason we did away with it.”

The question of screening contestants for sanity came up more than once, obviously fueled by Paula’s recent allegations. Paula claims she voiced concern about her stalker, Paula Goodspeed, appearing on the show but was ignored. Goodspeed was later found dead near Paula’s Los Angeles home.

“[Paula] said she told producers [that Goodspeed was a stalker], didn’t she?” an oddly oblivious Warwick asked a reporter. “Well I was in the room, mate, and can absolutely put my hand on my heart and say I didn’t know.” When the question resurfaced, Warwick reiterated his point, saying, “She may have mentioned it to somebody; she certainly didn’t mention it to me ... all I can say is personally I wasn’t aware of it. End of story.”

And what about Internet rumors that Paula’s “Idol” days might be numbered? “Never have I ever been faced with anyone saying, ‘Paula's gotta go; she’s asking too much money,’ ” exclaimed Warwick.

— Stephanie Lysaght