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Published August 20, 2010, 12:00 AM

Morast: DioGuardi remains quiet on ‘Idol’ future

Kara DioGuardi will be performing songs she wrote for other people tonight at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn.

Kara DioGuardi will be performing songs she wrote for other people tonight at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn. And while that’s kind of interesting, it’s more fun to wonder if this is a preview of DioGuardi’s post-“American Idol” life, collecting easy paychecks in casinos.

It’s a compelling thought, because as every “Idol” fan can tell you, nobody seems to know if DioGuardi’s star is streaking upward or falling to the ground like a fading meteor crashing into the nostalgia cages that are casinos.

For the past month, rumors have been run through the blogosphere that DioGuardi won’t return as a judge for the show that’s still the most popular program on TV.

Reports from Fox TV “sources” said they fired the songwriter in an apparent plan to purge their roster of “experts” and replace them with people who have higher Q ratings. Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has confirmed he’ll be a judge on “Idol” when it starts in January, and reports suggest Shania Twain or Jennifer Lopez will be sitting next to him and his collection of scarves.

DioGuardi hasn’t offered any comment on the matter. And the publicity people at Warner Bros. Records – where DioGuardi’s an executive – didn’t grant us an interview with her highness.

Typically, the silence speaks volumes. But with DioGuardi, it’s easy to believe she’s too busy spending time in the studio penning songs for half of today’s pop radio stars.

And she could still be prepping for the upcoming “Idol” tryouts around the nation – if you believe DioGuardi’s father, who is a politician, she’s still on board the Coke-fueled “Idol” train.

Earlier this month, DioGuardi’s father made an appearance on a New York political show and said his daughter “still has not heard anything” about her position with “Idol.” He also said she’s been bothered by the turmoil and probably still wants to do another year on the show.

But can you really trust anything coming from the mouth of a politician? Their words have less sincerity than the credit card mailers calling you a “valued” customer.

So we’re back to the start of this column, wondering if tonight’s DioGuardi concert is an isolated engagement or an attempt to feel out her role as a touring musician banking on past associations.

I’m inclined to think it’s an isolated event providing a diversion to her duties in the music industry. According to a ticket representative at Shooting Star, there are “plenty” of tickets available for tonight’s gig. DioGuardi’s far from stupid – she has a political science degree from Duke University. If she’s not selling out a casino date, she’ll be back on “Idol.”

Bank on it.

If you go

  • What: Kara DioGuardi
  • When: 8 tonight
  • Where: Shooting Star Casino, Mahnomen, Minn.
  • Tickets: $10 to $25, available at the door

Readers can reach Forum Features Editor Robert Morast at (701) 241-5518 or rmorast@forumcomm.com