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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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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."
Paula Abdul, American Idol Judge
  • 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?

 

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With Paula Abdul officially off American Idol, questions are swirling around the show.

Will she be replaced as a judge? If so, by whom?

It is with great trepidation that we report the Fox series is considering Victoria Beckham for the role, as Britain's Sky News states Posh Spice will make a “one-off appearance” as a guest judge next season.

Supposedly, the large-breasted former Spice Girl has no interest in making this a permanent job because she wants to focus on her fashion line. But London's The Daily Mirror says the offer is out there:

“Victoria is hugely flattered as this is one of the highest profile gigs in America... Network bosses would love to give her the job full-time and it looks like it’s there for her if she wants it."

Former Posh Spice

As for Abdul, where will she head next? So You Think You Can Dance producer Nigel Lythgoe isn't shy about wooing the wacky judge for his show:

"With Paula's background as a dancer, choreographer and reality judge now, I don't know any one more qualified than Paula Abdul," he told The Los Angeles Times.

But back to Beckham. Is this really a good idea? Didn't American Idol see what her husband did to soccer in the United States?

Do you wanna see Victoria Beckham as a judge next season?

 

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It was a union that seemed doom to fail from its whacky, possibly drug-induced beginning.

Still, the relationship between Paula Abdul and American Idol lasted for eight successful seasons. Where did it all go wrong? Why won't she be returning to the show next season?

Sources told The New York Times that Abdul earned $2 million last year. For season nine, she wanted a raise... of 500%!

After the judge asked for $20 million per year, producers countered with a multi-year deal worth more than $10 million. Feeling slighted by the monster contract Ryan Seacrest signed last month, along with the addition of Kara DioGuardi, Paula walked away.

Idol Judges

On his radio show today, Seacrest said:

"She has her reasons for doing it, and if she didn't feel like she was getting what she needed, then I understand that."

Do you? Will you miss Abdul on American Idol?

 

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American Idol just got a lot saner, and a lot less entertaining.

Following weeks of rumors about her departure and public contract negotiating, Paula Abdul has confirmed her exit from the top-rated show on television.

"With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return to Idol," Abdul wrote on her Twitter page last night. "I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon.

"What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me. I do, without any doubt, have the BEST fans in the entire world and I love you all."

A Former Judge

The show is now left with a trio of judges for season nine: Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi, who signed a new deal last week.

In response to Abdul's farewell, Fox released the following statement:

"Paula Abdul has been an important part of the American Idol family over the last eight seasons and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show. While Paula will not be continuing with us, she's a tremendous talent and we wish her the best."

Will you miss Paula Abdul on American Idol?

 

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Paula Abdul's manager says his client has not been offered a contract to return to American Idol.

Simon Cowell says he definitely wants his fellow judge and occasional flirt to come back next season.

What do past Idol contestants say about the possibility of Abdul's absence from the show?

We couldn't get a hold of Adam Lambert because he's on the road touring, but Jordin Sparks was fully on Paula's side in an interview with Extra this week:

“Oh my gosh, they need to keep Paula,” the season six champion said. “It would be so different without her on the show... She was the one who usually came back and was like, ‘Are you guys doing okay? Are you fine?’ And I definitely think they need her. She’s amazing and deserves it.”

Pic of Jordin Sparks

Despite Jordin's kind words, Abdul might still be replaced on the show.

If that happens, who do you think should take her spot?

 

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Might season nine of American Idol be the sanest season yet of the nation's top-rated show?

According to David Sonenberg, the manager of Paula Abdul, his client has not receive a contract offer to return to the series.

"Very sadly, it does not appear that she's going to be back on Idol," told The Los Angeles Times. "I find it kind of unconscionable and certainly rude and disrespectful that [American Idol production companies Fremantle and 19 Entertainment] haven't stepped up and said what they want to do."

Crazy Paula

Would you watch American Idol without Paula Abdul?

Sonenberg says Abdul would "love to be on the show," but is yet to receive any word about her status.

"She's not a happy camper as a result of what's going on. She's hurt. She's angry," Sonenberg said. "I think at this point we're going to be considering everything, including some kind of a competition show. She has tremendous ideas for a whole variety of shows."

Last week, Ryan Seacrest agreed to a three-year, $45 million deal to continue as host of American Idol; while Randy Jackson is signed through 2011 and Kara DioGuardi has expressed interest in returning.

Simon Cowell's contract runs through next year, as negotiations continue to keep him around for many more seasons.

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Who would have thought that Ladies' Home Journal would resort to tabloid-like rumors one expects from The National Enquirer?

A few days ago, an article in that publication certainly implied that Paula Abdul had a painkiller addiction that was treated at rehab. But the American Idol judge now says that story was blown out of proportion.

Way, way, way out of proportion.

"I want to make it perfectly clear to everyone that I have never been addicted to or abused drugs in my life," Abdul said in a statement yesterday. "I have never been drunk. I have never entered a rehab or detox treatment center."

But what about her time at La Costa Resort? Turns out, that was nothing more than a relaxing vacation.

"I spent time hiking, bicycling, doing yoga and enjoying the spa. As anyone who has visited the La Costa Resort knows, it is a luxury hotel, not a rehab facility."

There you have it, folks. Forget drugs or alcohol. Abdul is simply crazy on her own.

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A few hours prior to tonight's performance show (visit our site in the morning for a detailed recap!), a pair of American Idol judges are in the news.

First, Simon Cowell appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He touched on the following topics:

  • Ryan Seacrest has lost popularity because he enters the stage on a staircase: “It made him appear more pompous, obnoxious, taking himself a bit seriously,” Cowell said. “You don’t give yourself that type of entrance.”
  • Adam Lambert is brave: “I like the fact he’s fearless. He’s not playing it safe. A lot of the people that take part in these shows want to sing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ every week because it’s a sappy song. He’s got guts.”


Meanwhile, in a more serious admission, Paula Abdul has finally opened up about her painkiller addiction.

In the latest issue of Ladies Home Journal, the singer says she was diagnosed with "reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome," in 2005. It's a a chronic neurological disorder that causes severe pain, often leading to teeth-chattering and shingles-like lesions for Abdul.

Continue Reading...

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If you thought this ridiculous, colorful $3,000 jacket by Alexander McQueen were only usable if you were playing a Circus ring leader in concert, think again!

Britney Spears rocked it in NYC; while Paula Abdul, guesting on the Late Show With David Letterman in the same city, chose the same look. Does it work?

Who wore it best, the conservatorship-battling, midriff-baring singer or the American Idol judge? Tell us what you think in our little informal survey below ...

This jacket totally looks better on ...

 

Paula Abdul Biography

New American Idol Judges Paula Abdul is a former pop star who rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s with hits such as "Opposites Attract," "Forever Your Girl" and... More »
Born
Full Name
Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul 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]

The producers come up to us in the dark and said, 'We are not going to have you guys judge after each performer, we are going to have all the performers go once, then twice and at the end critique them.'

Paula Abdul [on her mistake of judging an American Idol performance that hadn't taken place]
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