The worst kept secret in television is official: Kara DioGuardi has left American Idol.
The demise of the record producer, who joined the Idol as a judge in the series’ eighth season, was confirmed late Friday.
In a statement, DioGuardi said: “I felt like I won the lottery when I joined American Idol two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave Idol.
“I am very proud to have been associated with American Idol – it has truly been an amazing experience.”
While the decision only become official on Friday, speculation of her firing has swirled around the show’s much-talked about shake-up for weeks.
Her father, Republican senate candidate Joe DioGuardi, even went public on a political television program, revealing that his daughter learned of Fox’s sudden decision in a newspaper report.
"She read it the way you did and I did," Joe said on August 12. “Would you believe she did not hear -- and still has not heard -- anything?"
Fox has yet to announce replacements for their departing judges, including Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell.
Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Jessica Simpson have all been rumored replacements.
The show’s creator, Simon Fuller, bid farewell DioGuardi, via statement.
“Kara is one of the world’s best songwriters,” Fuller said.
“She has been passionate and committed to Idol over the last two seasons. I will miss having her on the show, but I look forward to working with her in music for many years to come.”