Paula Abdul could be off of American Idol

Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul’s manager has made it crystal clear that American Idol producers aren’t offering his client a new contract to remain on American Idol, and that it’s likely she’ll step away from the hit show. Last week we heard that emcee Ryan Seacrest signed a three year, $45 million contract with Idol that doesn’t prevent him from producing his own reality shows on the side. The National Enquirer reported that Paula Abdul was hoping to score $20 million a year, or double her salary, to retain her seat on the judges’ panel. According to Paula’s manager, she hasn’t even been fielded a contract continuing her current pay. Does this mean Paula is off and will self righteous new edition Kara DioGuardi remain on the show? Whatever happens, “yo Dog” Randy Jackson will stay until 2011, and Simon is sure to remain too.

Paula Abdul is unhappy. And unless the producers of “American Idol” change her frown to a smile soon, she’ll dance like there’s no tomorrow away from TV’s No. 1 show.

“Very sadly, it does not appear that she’s going to be back on ‘Idol,’ ” David Sonenberg, Abdul’s manager, told The Times when contacted about the judge’s contract negotiations.

With auditions for the ninth season due to start Aug. 6, Sonenberg says he doesn’t even have a proposal for a new contract from FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, the production companies behind the show. The new season is scheduled to premiere in January.

“I find it under these circumstances particularly unusual; I think unnecessarily hurtful,” he said of the contract holdup. “I find it kind of unconscionable and certainly rude and disrespectful that they haven’t stepped up and said what they want to do.”

Sonenberg began managing Abdul at the end of June, he said. According to him, he has “reached out to the head of business affairs at 19” and told Fox that “Paula would love to be on the show.” He said Fox told him he would hear from them, but “I have not received any proposal whatsoever…|

Meanwhile, Cowell has a contract that expires next year and is jockeying for his own rich new payday. Published reports have floated a mind-blowing figure of $144 million, which Cowell has scoffed at, saying that talks are ongoing. (Fellow judge Randy Jackson is booked through 2011.)

But the situation is more complicated for Abdul. Last season, the producers added a fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi. Producers have not announced a deal with DioGuardi either, but the speculation is that her presence at the judging table may have been a shrewd move to tamp down any outsize contract demands that Abdul and her team might make. For their parts, both DioGuardi and Abdul have said recently that they want to return to the show. (DioGuardi’s publicist did not respond to a request for comment.)

But in Abdul’s case, that seems dependent on getting the right dollar amount. Sonenberg has said his client has not been well-compensated in the past.

She’s already looking toward an “Idol”-less future, he says, though Abdul’s foray into non-“Idol” programming, the 2007 Bravo show “Hey Paula,” was not a success.

“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.”

[From LA Times]

Is it really that bad for Paula or is her new manager just playing hardball in an attempt to get more money for his client? I don’t agree that anyone merits that kind of astronomical sum, but if Ryan can earn $15 million a year it only seems fair that they offer something comparable for Paula. She probably pissed off her bosses royally when she told the press that producers deliberately let her stalker audition for Idol even after she warned them and pleaded that they not let her on. The stalker, Paula Goodspeed, followed Paula home after an Idol audition and eventually committed suicide by overdosing in her car outside Paula’s house last November.

Paula is definitely loopy on camera, but the fans and contestants love her. The show needs her wacky, encouraging presence as a counterbalance to mean Simon and boring Randy. It would be a real shame to let her go. The producers have been trying to give Paula the shaft for a while, but they should listen to the fans and realize that Paula is an integral part of the show, much more so than Ryan.

Paula is shown outside Beso restaurant on 6/26/09. Credit: PRPhotos

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10 Responses to “Paula Abdul could be off of American Idol”

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  1. craziness says:

    WE SHOULD BE SO LUCKY! I’d actually watch the show if she’d leave!

  2. LuLu says:

    Who cares? That stupid show should be canceled. I can’t believe people waste their time watching this crap.

  3. Mme X says:

    I wish they’d get rid of Kara. Kara made me realize that Paula actually has some credibility.

  4. Green Is Good says:

    *yawn* Wake me when Paula shaves her head and/or goes to rehab.

    I can’t stand this show, but it’s obvious she’s demanding more cash.

  5. Neelyo says:

    Just a PR stunt for a tired show. They need to take a year or two off. The talent pools just aren’t that deep.

  6. CandyKay says:

    She was lucky to have been on a hit show for as long as she has. Hope she saved some money.

  7. OXA says:

    radaronline saya she is asking for $20 million and the producers are thinking more like $10 million so her publicist put this out to force the issue.

  8. barneslr says:

    Hope they work it out-she should stay on the show. It wouldn’t be the same without her!

  9. irl500girl says:

    I hope she stays on. I agree with the commenter above that Kara only showed Paula has credibility. I realized it long ago but adding Kara brought it out more and brought it to the attention of people who may not have realize it.
    Paula does offer some good critiques and I like her comments about what she saw in rehearsals. Every once in a while she makes a comment about something you didn’t realize or think of before. She’s good.
    Simon is great but usually only gives negative or nasty remarks. He makes more off the cuff, superficial remarks. I like Randy too but he is a little weak in the critiques. He’s not nasty and he offers little real insight or helpful comments. About all he says is “you rocked it out” or “I wasn’t feelin’ it”. Seems he’s the hip factor with his outfits, glasses, watches and catchy phases of “good lookin’ out” and “dawg this” and “dawg that.”
    I hope they keep the 3 judges with host Ryan intact. they are all good at their postitions. Paula nailed it at the start of last season when she said 4 judges doesn’t work and it takes too long.

  10. dubdub2000 says:

    oh, NO! I hope she stays! Her and Simon are the 2 entertaining ones. Randy is transparent and Kara is just sooooo full of herself, she brings NOTHING to the table. When she’s not high as a kite slurring all her words, Paula is great, she’s encouraging to the contestants, and disappointed when they mess up, she’s like their Mum; Simon is always spot on with his assessments and is very much aware of his role and makes fun of himself. I hope this is just a negotiation technique.