No one’s rooting harder for the return of American Idol than former show judge, Paula Abdul.
Speaking to E! News about the recent announcement of Disney/ABC Television reviving the reality music competition following its cancellation on Fox in 2016, Abdul, 54, expressed her elation over the series’ comeback.
“I’m so beyond proud to have been there since the inception of it,” Paula remarked.
“I think ABC is a great [new] home for Idol. I’m excited for [its return].”
Along with host Ryan Seacrest and fellow Idol judges Randy Jackson and music producer Simon Cowell, Paula overlooked eight seasons’ worth of contestants, beginning with its premiere season in 2002. The show went on for an seven additional seasons following Abdul’s Idol departure in 2009.
In an interview with Rolling Stone to mark what initially was the program’s swan song, Abdul waxed poetically about her attachment to American Idol, and how proud she was to have been able to help mold an immense pool of burgeoning talent.
“I feel so fortunate and a tremendous sense of gratitude that I got to be a part of something from day one that’s leaving an incredible legacy,” she warmly expressed.
“The incredible stars and the rare talent that [the other Idol judges and I] got to see were so brilliant and big, [and] not just from the winners. We got to see them go on and achieve world success and win some of the most coveted, prestigious awards in the entertainment business.”
When asked by E! News on if she was available for another go-round on the upcoming Idol reboot, the former judge admitted that the decision was not solely hers.
“I have no idea,” Paula said of her American Idol future.
“I’m forever a fan [of the show, but] I’m just finding out [about] the [reboot the] same way as everyone else.”
Abdul went on to share that her current priority is the joint music excursion she’s presently participating in, the nostalgia-themed Total Package Tour, with fellow ’80s and ’90s pop and R&B acts New Kids On The Block and Boyz II Men, respectively.
“My focus is on opening the tour with a bang,” the performer stated.
“We are all looking to open it up with a bang and have a blast!”
In all fairness, Paula may be a bit wary about signing back on to Idol, especially after certain reported issues she went through during her time on the show received greater public interest than most post-Idol winners’ careers past Season 6 (shade and facts are indeed two separate things, readers).
For example, Season 2 contestant Corey Clark, who was booted off of Idol for failing to reveal the truth about a past arrest record, as the Daily Mail reports, still maintains to this day that he and Paula had a romantic relationship that began in 2003, the same year Clark successfully auditioned for the show.
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Incidentally, Clark is now engaged in a legal battle with E! Television, the network that houses E! News, over claims that they lied about the basis of his supposed relationship with ex-Idol figure Abdul, in an episode of the now-defunct E! True Hollywood Story from 2005. The matter is still pending.
Along with Corey’s continuing claims; by her own admission, Paula herself didn’t exactly part on the best of terms with Idol insiders, as the Rolling Stone piece provides.
“[Abdul’s] time with [American Idol] came to a contentious close following contract negotiations that ended poorly.”
“I had some of the best of times and the worst of times and everything in between [with the show],” Paula confirmed to Rolling Stone, “but all in all, I can’t imagine it not being a part of my life.”
As for whether it turns out to make a “reappearance” in her life, or remains a completed chapter, Paula appears to still have nothing but love for what was and will be of American Idol.
“[It] was and still is one of the most life changing experiences for me,” she said to E! News.
As of now, original host Ryan Seacrest is the only seminal Idol player attached to the reboot, as the Inquisitr noted earlier in May.
Reps for ABC and the new American Idol have not commented on Paula Abdul possibly returning to the franchise.
[Featured Image by Mike Windle/Getty Images]