Not only have the producers of American Idol not signed deals with anyone yet to replace Simon Cowell and Ellen Degeneres, but they have not yet informed Kara DioGuardi whether she'll return next season, according to her father, Joe DioGuardi, the former New York Republican congressman now running for the U.S. Senate. Appearing on the New York cable-TV show Capital Tonight , DioGuardi remarked, "Would you believe, that she did not hear, and still has not heard anything?" He speculated that the reason that the producers have remained mum about the judging panel was to "create a lot of buzz like they did with Paula Abdul. ... Would she want to do it another year? I think so. ... I think at some point [she] will confront them on that." Returning co-executive producer Nigel Lithgoe has been critical of the decision to add a fourth judge to the panel, and many industry observers have speculated that it will be pared down to three when the competition resumes in the fall, with Kara DioGuardi getting the boot. Meanwhile, the website TMZ, citing unnamed sources, is reporting that while negotiations with Jennifer Lopez have not yet "flatlined," the Idol producers have a back-up plan to offer the job to country singer Shania Twain.