Despite Paula Abdul's farewell Tweet and Fox wishing her happy trails, the latest American Idol conspiracy theory suggests she's not going anywhere.
Here are a few bits of evidence (albeit circumstantial) that make us wonder if the reality show and the wacky, but entertaining judge are really parting ways:
- Within an hour of Abdul's bombshell, celebrity gossip maven Bonnie Fuller, late of HollywoodLife.com, tweeted that "Abdul has already signed her new deal [with American Idol]. The whole sob story was a pure publicity stunt."
- Asked to comment if there was no way Abdul wouldn't be back on American Idol come the winter and the launch of the new season, Fox reps didn't respond.
- On his radio show this morning, Ryan Seacrest said Abdul's departure was real, "as far as I know." Randy Jackson, meanwhile, said "It looks to be true."
- Asked to comment if it was possible for a star and network to cook up a scheme, entertainment attorney John J. Tormey III said, "Anything's possible."
- Unnamed "television industry executives" told the New York Times they believe "Ms. Abdul's combative stance is simply a negotiating tactic." Of course, it could well be a one-sided tactic, if she really wants $20 million a year.
- Tormey didn't think it was a reach to suggest Paul Abdul would appear to walk away from a deal in order to sweeten it. "In television," the lawyer said, "it's not uncommon for talent to take a hiatus in the event of negotiations."
So? What do you think? While it sounds obvious, the only way we'll know is with the passage of time ... or the instant American Idol get a new judge (today's rumored replacement is Victoria Beckham), or Paula Abdul gets a new gig.
Until then, we say let the conspiracy theories pile up!
Would you miss Paula on American Idol?