Reality Rocks - Archive

Paula Abdul On ‘Nightline’: Is She Being Straight-Up?

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

In a recently taped Nightline interview that airs on ABC this Thursday night, American Idol's most lovably wacky judge Paula Abdul was, supposedly, straight-up: "I've never been addicted to any prescription drugs. I've never been drunk. I've worked my whole life," she emphatically attested to interviewer Cynthia McFadden.

"I will not take those drugs," Paula continued. "And you can check my medical records. There is nothing like that. I was never on Oxycontin or Vicodin or anything like that. I was on [non-addictive] nerve medicine and anti-inflammatories [for a 1992 neck injury]."

Hmmm...well, I was always kind of hoping Paula was on drugs. Being JWI (judging while intoxicated) would at least explain almost all of her most infamous Idol behavior: critiquing a Jason Castro song that had yet to be sung, drawing a Sharpie mustache on Simon Cowell, clapping like a robotic seal, saying she wanted to squish David Archuleta's little head, passionately advocating that the Judges' Save be used on Scott MacIntyre, etc.

Being under the influence would also account for most of Paula's worst-dressed-list wardrobe choices, her hideous Tatiana Del Toro-championed HSN jewelry line, her frequent onscreen meltdowns on the spinoff reality show Hey Paula!, that cra-zay-zay and slurry interview she did for Seattle morning TV in January '07, her tendency to trip over her Chihuahuas, that "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" video disaster, and her alleged attraction to season 2 sleazeball Corey Clark. It would explain everything, really.

Well, maybe Paula's just crazy. But, to quote one of her own song titles, she's crazy-cool. American Idol just wouldn't be the same without her, and I sincerely hope that fourth judge Kara DioGuardi wasn't recruited to be a Paula replacement when Paula's Idol contract expires at the end of season 8.

However, Paula's confessions to Nightline--that she didn't know about Kara being hired until the last minute, that her biggest career mistake was signing up for a show that perpetrated false rumors of her drug use, and that Simon is a "bully"--makes me worry that this will be Paula's final season.

"I don't think anyone [can replace me]," Paula told Nightline. "First of all, Kara says, 'I could never replace you.' Whenever there is change it's not about replacing anybody, it's about possibly moving on."

Well, Paula may or may not be addicted to any sort of substance, but I am personally addicted to her AmIdol antics week after week. So I hope this Nightline one-on-one, with its foreboding comments about "moving on," doesn't mean Paula's leaving Idol. Kara's doing a pretty good job as a judge, but it's Paula who's forever my girl.


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