American Idol Judges: How Much Are They Worth?

  
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Over the course of 15 seasons, American Idol had about as much drama with the judges as it did with the contestants on stage. By the end of the show, there will have been 11 different judges, and many different combinations of judges. In the first season DJ Stryker was supposed to be a fourth judge but dropped out over “image concerns.” The next season, Angie Martinez was hired on, but withdrew only days before auditions because she was uncomfortable criticizing the singers. All three original judges, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul stayed on for eight seasons before the judge change-ups began. Check out how much all of the judges to ever appear on American Idol are worth now!

11. Kara DioGuardi

Estimated Net Worth: $25 Million. After working with three judges for seven seasons, American Idol executives finally brought in a fourth judge in season eight with Latin Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Kara DioGuardi. DioGuardi completed two seasons before exiting, and added a few more dollars to her $25 million net worth. While DioGuardi’s name might not be the most recognizable in the music industry, she has had over 250 of her songs recorded and released by other artists such as Pink, Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, and Theory of a Deadman.

Photo by Picture Perfect / Rex Features

Photo by Picture Perfect / Rex Features

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10. Paula Abdul

Estimated Net Worth: $30 Million. Paula Abdul made it big first as a choreographer beginning with the L.A. Lakers cheerleading squad, and moving on to choreographing the music video “Torture” for The Jacksons. As well as choreographing major awards shows, she had her own music career making it big with her first album in the late ’80s, long before she became one of the original judges on American Idol. She stayed on from season one through season eight before leaving. Through it all, Abdul has made an incredible $30 million and still reportedly makes $2.5 million a year.

Photo by Buchan/Variety/REX Shutterstock

Photo by Buchan/Variety/REX Shutterstock

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