By People Staff
Updated January 13, 2009 12:00 AM
Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage; Robert Pitts/Landov

Is she more like Simon? Or more like Paula?

Just because Idol‘s new judge, Kara DioGuardi, co-wrote Kylie Minogue‘s “Spinning Around” with Paula Abdul, doesn’t mean she’s as easy-going as the veteran judge. According to American Idol runner-up David Archuleta, the newest judge on the show is “a tough person” and “a bit more picky than Paula.”

But that doesn’t necessarily make her a grouch like Simon. “She has a lot of spunk,” Archuleta said Monday before a performance at New York’s Hard Rock Cafe for Bauer Teen Group’s InTune concert. “She’s not afraid to tell it like it is and be herself.”

“I may say things that are negative,” DioGuardi told PEOPLE recently. “But I always try to do it with some heart and some understanding of what it’s like to be on the other side of the table.”

According to Archuleta, who collaborated with DioGuardi on his self-titled debut album and his hit single “Crush,” the fourth judge will be an interesting element added to the panel. “I’m excited about the new judge because I think Kara’s grounded,” Archuleta said. “She’s an amazing singer, an amazing songwriter.”

DioGuardi has worked with other former Idol contestants including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Katharine McPhee on their post-show endeavors. Now, America will see what she can do with the newest crop of Idol wannabes. The new season of American Idol airs Tuesday on FOX (8 p.m. ET). — Stephanie CainSteve Granitz/WireImage; Robert Pitts/Landov