by Hilton Hater at

Nigel Lythgoe may be back as the producer of American Idol, and he may openly desire Paula Abdul as a judge on the show, but this isn't going to happen.

The singer is under contract with CBS for a new show titled Got to Dance.

But Abdul did speak to TV Guide this week about her former home and answered questions about its judging predicament. Excerpts follow...

On Lythgoe: I have the utmost respect for Nigel. Him going back to American Idol  is in many ways a very big blessing. He's a wonderful producer and I'm taken by the kind words he had to say. I have tremendous respect for him.

On her Idol experience: I'll always be a fan of the show. I had an amazing time. To be part of something from the very beginning that grew into such a worldwide phenomenon is really awe-inspiring. It's going to go down in history. It's always wonderful to be part of something that's larger than you could have ever imagined.

Paula on Idol

Should Randy Jackson remain as a judge? I read this is Randy's last year under contract. I think it's important for people to have familiarity with someone. I haven't been able to ask Randy what it feels like, because it's not the time to ask him. Randy is a great guy - he really is. Everyone loves Randy!

On the Jennifer Lopez/Steven Tyler rumors: That's the legacy of the show that I get to feel a part of. It's a show that's going to go down in history. I'm just honored and blessed that I get to be a part of it. It has certainly allowed for so many wonderful times.

Hmmm... avoiding that question, Paula? Let's turn it over to THG readers: Do you wanna see J. Lo and Tyler as American Idol judges?

 

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by Hilton Hater at

Bret Michaels has laid out the reasons why he should be the next judge on American Idol.

But there's one person he doesn't need to convince, and she's someone who knows a lot about the gig: Paula Abdul.

"If he were to take that position I think he would be awesome at it because you've got to have a passion and love for music," Abdul told Us Weekly. "It takes somebody who really, really understands young people to try to make the magic happen in those 30 seconds. [Bret] would fit the mold perfectly."

  • Backstage Bret
  • Backstage with Paula

That said, Paula says no one will ever be able to truly replace Simon Cowell.

"Honestly, the word replacement to me does not apply because, as we all know, they broke the mold after Simon. I don't think he could ever be replaced," she said. "There should be no comparison."

It's true, but it's still an important question: Should Bret Michaels be the next American Idol judge?

 

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by Hilton Hater at

American Idol got a much-needed shot of adrenaline and entertainment this week, when Adam Lambert returned to the stage that made him famous.

But ratings for season nine have plummeted, along with its enterainment value and overall talent level (no offense, Crystal Bowersox).

Especially because it will be competing with Simon Cowell's The X Factor next year, the series needs to do something, it needs some kind of savior, it needs... Paula Abdul?

Sources tell the latest issue of In Touch Weekly that "it's a huge secret, but American Idol producers might be trying to woo Paula Abdul back to the struggling show."

Compared to when Paula was on the panel, viewership has fallen by approximately six million this season. That may have a lot to do with a lackluster set of finalists, of course, most of whom are the same type of singer.

But with Simon departing, “they want Paula back,” an insider tells the tabloid. “They’re not sure if she’d be the fifth judge, but they are talking to her. People tuned in to see Paula’s wacky antics and her chemistry with Simon. The show is just not as much fun to watch without her.”

Do you agree? Do you wanna see Abdul return to Idol?

 

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by Hilton Hater at

Paula Abdul is less than stable.

Therefore, while American Idol fans debated the merits of Ellen DeGeneres as a new judge on the show, many were also wondering: How the heck will Abdul react to this news?

Will she throw a fit? Get drunk? Run around the streets of Los Angeles naked? Really, no reaction from this loony singer would surprise us. Except for grace and humility, which is exactly what Paula showed in a recent Twitter message:

"I think Ellen will b a gr8 judge on Idol," she wrote Thursday evening. "She is wildly funny, talented and I wish her the best of luck!"

That's not nearly as entertaining as the other possible reactions.

  • A Choice of the People
  • Crazy Paula

Meanwhile, last season's newcomer, Kara DioGuardi, also praised the selection of DeGeneres. She said:

"[Ellen is] somebody who loves music, she's positive, she loves kids... She is somebody who has watched the show from the beginning, knows everything there is to know about American Idol and I think ultimately it's going to be a great new energy."

Viewers will find out in a few months, as season nine premieres in January.

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by Hilton Hater at

When Kara DioGuardi was hired as a fourth judge last season on American Idol, critics believed it was a maneuver meant to prepare the show for Paula Abdul's departure.

That departure took place this week, but DioGuardi is in shock over it.

"I can't get over it. I'm completely shocked," she said on Ryan Seacrest's radio show today. "It's such a loss for the show, such a loss for the contestants. She's definitely the heart of the panel."

Kara and Paula

What, precisely, will Kara miss about her friend?

"The kind of heart she treated the contestants with she treated me with last year," she said. "She was so kind to me and made me feel immediately like part of the panel."

DioGuardi also made it clear that her addition to American Idol had nothing to do with Abdul's future.

"The way I'm understanding it is that it was her choice to leave. I never was here to replace her. It would be impossible to replace Paula Abdul. She's an incredible talent. She is somebody who helped make the show as big as it is. How could you ever replace that?"

Well, Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry will try. Each has been hired as a guest judge on season nine.

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by Free Britney at

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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by Free Britney at

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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by Hilton Hater at

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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by Hilton Hater at

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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by Hilton Hater at

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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