$10 Million: Paula Abdul's Magic Number?

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As rumors continue to circulate that Paula Abdul and American Idol may not be officially divorced just yet (or if they are, that a reconciliation is still on the table), new reports say that for $10 million a year, she'll still come back.

Well-connected American Idol sources say they haven't closed the door on her Season 9 return, even though they have not communicated with Abdul since her farewell Tweet earlier this week, and auditions start today, sans Paula.

Reports say Paula was not happy with the offer American Idol made to her but was willing to sign - just days before her supposedly deal-breaking Tweet of heart.

She felt "disrespected" by executives who had offered Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest a lot more than they offered her. That "disrespectful offer," TMZ says, was in the neighborhood of $4 million a year. Paula would re-up for $10 million.

So even if this isn't a publicity stunt, it does appear there's wiggle room for Paula to return at the right price. Or is there? Other reports tell a conflicting story ...

Here's where it gets fishy, though. An EW source says Abdul was offered a 30 percent raise, which she declined, that would have amounted to over $10 million.

That source says she was angling for $20 million.

“Everyone thinks she’s off her rocker to pass up money like that,” says one connected reality show agent to EW. “She’ll never get even $5-10 million on a start-up show. It’s never going happen. She may have overplayed her hand.”

Addressing rumors of an Abdul move to Idol's "sister" show, a Fox insider says it would be a boon to So You Think You Can Dance (which just crowned Jeanine Mason, 18, its winner last night), but there’s “no way” she'd earn nearly as much.

That’s why many Hollywood observers think she will swallow her pride and go back to the show that (re)made her a star. Even for a paltry $5-10 million.

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Simon obviously deserves a higher salary since he's the driving force. Ryan deserves a high salary because his job as host is demanding. I'd like to know what Randy gets. Paula deserves at least as much as what Randy gets, if not more, because let's face it --- he's the least interesting of the bunch and doesn't seem to do any more than Paula.

American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]
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