Now that the drama surrounding whether or not Paula Abdul would return to American Idol is over, fans can breathe a sigh of relief that Kara DioGuardi will also be returning as a judge on the ninth season.

Fox announced today that Kara will be at the judges’ table with Paul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson when the popular reality competition hits the airwaves in January 2010. She made her debut on the show’s panel last season.

“We are so happy to welcome back Kara for her second season with Idol,” said Simon Fuller, Creator/Executive Producer of AI in a statement released today. “She is a breath of fresh air, and her passion for music and her understanding of talent is invaluable. This show is all about discovering new talent, and Kara’s championing of Adam Lambert is proof positive of her great instinct.”

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