By People Staff
Updated June 16, 2010 01:00 AM
Credit: Charles Sykes/Rex; Robert Pitts/Landov

Kara DioGuardi knows it’s pointless to search for a carbon copy of Simon Cowell for the next season of American Idol. And that may be why Harry Connick Jr. would be a good choice as a replacement.

“No one will ever be Simon It’s impossible,” DioGuardi, 39, said Friday on Sirius XM radio’s Morning Mash Up program. “He does things that no one has ever done. He’s created this tremendous character who is funny, still has a human side, but is just blatantly honest.”

She added, “What I liked about Harry as a mentor this past season is he is put so much time into helping those contestants, and I think he really did help them.”

The idea of potentially not replacing Cowell – of going back to three judges, as it was during first seven seasons – doesn’t sit right with DioGuardi.

“People have gotten used to four judges,” she says. “When I first came on, it was definitely, ‘Oh she’s taking over Paula Abdul, as the third judge,’ which was not the case. I was never there to take Paula’s position. I do think that having four judges works. It’s really about getting someone who has a lot of experience in music to replace Simon.”

Not that Cowell won’t be missed. He most certainly will be. “I always had mad respect for him, and I think he’s really brilliant,” says DioGuardi. “The first year was hard, you know. I was trying to be like ‘Let me in, let me in.’ I was like the outsider. This year, I just enjoyed him so much on the panel, and I thought he was so good to me, very supportive, and I thanked him a lot for that.” –Tim Nudd