Why Paula Abdul Really Left and Where She’s Going
The exiting American Idol judge is being wooed by networks, a turn of events that started before she even decided to pull out of the top-rated FOX show, where she felt unappreciated, reports The New York Times in a detailed dissection of what happened behind the scenes and what future lies ahead for Abdul, 47.
The inside story comes simultaneously with a TMZ newsflash that Abdul and ABC Entertainment Group president Stephen McPherson met on Tuesday afternoon. That report says, however, that contrary to some rumblings, Abdul likely will not end up as a judge on Dancing With the Stars, given that Abdul and DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba apparently do not get along.
According to The Times, not only is ABC courting Abdul, but so are NBC and the producer of another FOX hit, So You Think You Can Dance. The timing, meanwhile, couldn't be better, given that Abdul reportedly feels hurt by the constant failure of her Idol colleagues to counter critical attacks about her reliability and her possible substance abuse -- which has cost her highly remunerative endorsement deals.
For its part, FOX, which recently renewed contracts for judge Simon Cowell and host Ryan Seacrest with substantial boosts in pay for each, had grown tired of Abdul's histrionics and did not wish to engage in a salary tug-of-war with her, reports the newspaper.
Besides, an insider told The Times, "Paula didn't place as much importance on remaining on the show as some other did. She thinks there are a lot of opportunities out there for her, and she will be fine without that show."
Abdul did not respond to repeated requests for comment made through her manager, the paper adds. -- Stephen M. SilvermanMichael Becker/American Idol/Getty