“We were in Mexico and he lit some candles and I was in, of course, my thermal smiley face pajamas that one of my best friends gave me for Christmas. Not very sexy, but it does the job when it’s freezing, cause you know the air conditioning was on. And he just said, ‘You know I love you, blah, blah, blah.’ He said, ‘I have a question.’ I was like, ‘Oh what is it?’ He was like, ‘Do you know where my shoes are?’ I said, ‘I don’t know where your shoes are.’ He’s like, ‘All right, well then will you marry me?’”
DioGuardi tells us she met the father-of-one in Maine while visiting the home of a family friend. The former school teacher was working as a general contractor on the house next door. The two hit it off, but almost ended early when he found out about her career as a hit Hollywood songwriter.
“My friend, who was on vacation with me, was like, ‘You have to see what she does. Go check out her website,’” she explains. “I didn’t want him to know. So he went and checked it out and called me up, and he said, ‘I think you’re a really nice girl, but I don’t think this is going to work out.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ He said, ‘You have a Hollywood life, and I’m a guy from Maine.’ And I said, ‘I have no Hollywood life, believe me.’ I’m working eighteen-hour days, going home and catching a Law & Order episode and calling it a night.”
Since then, DioGuardi landed the job with American Idol and McCuddy moved to Los Angeles to join her.