Hey, guys! Nice to talk with everyone again. It’s been more than two months since we gathered here, but as promised, if developments warrant, we’ll offer an opinion. And I’m rarely without an opinion.
In the case of Paula Abdul leaving her role as one of the Idol judges I can’t say I was dismayed. A little surprised, of course, but saddened? Not really.
Paula was an intricate and valuable part of the chemistry of the greatest television show in history during its rise to icon status. But during the past two years she had become more of an annoyance than a contributor.
I know a lot of you adore the heck out of her, but let’s be realistic about this. She rarely let Simon finish a sentence and almost never offered any criticism of substance. And while I have no inside knowledge of her medical records, it was obvious there were nights that the “Forever Your Girl” girl was not 100 percent with us.
WAS THIS SET IN MOTION A YEAR AGO?
Personally, I think the Idol hierarchy was preparing for this day a year ago at this time when Kara DioGuardi was named as a fourth judge. Paula’s contract was going to be up after the 2009 season, her act was growing stale and irritable and Idol needed a shot of adrenalin. Think of the buzz this creates for a show that isn’t even on the air for another 5 1/2 months.
Paula wanted a big raise, which also made it easier for the Idol suits to part ways with her. She wanted $20 million a season, they offered $10 million.
Simon Cowell’s salary for Idol is reportedly $36 million and Ryan Seacrest recently signed a three-year, $45 million ($15 million per season) deal. I have never seen any salary figures for Randy Jackson or DioGuardi.
I’m only guessing here, but I imagine Paula felt she was worth more than Ryan. At one time, maybe, but no longer. Paula had become the weak link in the Idol chain and the salary disagreement made it easy to cut her loose.
The bottom line is Idol will do just fine without Paula. I wish her well and enjoyed her time on the show — until the past two years when she be became far more of a distraction than anything else.
In addition, Simon will re-emerge as the megastar of Idol, which is the way it should be. (Just ask him.)
Last fall we started the Top 50 Idol Countdown of the show’s all-time performers. We’ll also have something special for the coming fall and winter. Keep checking back here for details.
Our favorite show returns in mid-January. I can’t wait.