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UPDATE!- “American Idol”: What was UP with Paula?

April 30, 2008

paula.jpgIn seven seasons of “American Idol,” Paula Abdul has definitely had her moments.

But her gaffe on Tuesday night’s episode was either the “Kookiest Paula Moment Ever” or a sign of the judges’ apparently not-so-spontaneous evaluations of contestants’ performances.

Abdul on Wednesday sought to explain the blunder as a simple misunderstanding. “We all just screwed up everything,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

It was Neil Diamond night, and after each of the show’s five remaining contestants sang their first of two songs for the evening, the judges were asked to comment on their performances.

Randy Jackson quickly rattled off his impressions, and then Abdul launched into a lengthy analysis of contestant Jason Castro’s two performances. Yes, that’s right. Abdul remembered TWO performances. When Castro, and all of the other contestants, had only performed ONCE.

“Oh my God, I thought you sang twice,” a flustered Abdul said when Jackson gently pointed out that Castro had only performed one song so far. She added: “This is hard!”

“You’re seein’ the future baby, you’re seein’ the future!” host Ryan Seacrest said.

Abdul tried to cover for the mistake by saying she had been reading her notes from both Castro’s performance and contestant David Cook’s performances.

The flub was enough to convince some fans that Abdul must have prepared her notes on both songs before the live performance.

On the “Idol” forums, some fans pondered whether the judges’ comments were a function of who the show’s producers want to win rather than the content of the performances. Others gave the show the benefit of the doubt, saying Abdul must have taken notes at the dress rehearsals

Abdul explained on Wednesday that Idol producers had thrown the judges a last minute curveball during the show.  “I am feverishly trying to write notes for every performance,” she recounted, saying her notes got mixed up.

“I was just trying to give my critique for Jason Castro, and scribbled Jason’s name, and that was David (Cook)’s. “This is live television. This is fun!,” she said.


Well, the fact is that Randy is meant to be “hip” and cool, Paula’s suppose to be sweet and comforting, while Simon’s the brutally honest guy you love to hate. It’s all stereotyped! (However I’m not above finding Simon’s in-your-face personality somewhat amusing.) I also have noticed that Ryan has been acting a bit odd as of late, especially when it comes to duking it out with Simon.

. . . go David A!!! :D

Posted by Lisa | Report as abusive

Jason Castro is absolutley terrible and has no business still being on the show. All of his songs are the same boring thing. People who say he had a great performance are either deaf or brain dead. He won’t go home though because of all the little girls voting for him. It’s time American Idol changed their voting rules and had people vote for who they think should go home. That way people like Jason and Brooke wouldn’t still be in while singers like Carlie sit at home.

Posted by Cory | Report as abusive

paula have another cocktail! did anyone notice after Syesha Mercado sang her 2nd song, paula called her brook!

Posted by cathy | Report as abusive

David A. is for the teeny bopper girls. He’s boring. Does anyone really listen to him. Who would buy that album?

Posted by amy | Report as abusive

The whole fiasco may be a blessing in disguise. The producers sensed Jason’s star quality but could not figure it out Jason since he demystify various things. They may feel Jason would be a threat to their original D/D final plan and do anything. Those who could tell that Jason was crucified strategically go to YouTube and would listen to the studio version and appreciate his music more. And determined to keep supporting him since his music touched many and fight back to the dumb producers/judges. BTW, Jason is not dumb. By all means, he is in one of the top universities. He has earned respect and trust. Not so many young kids can tackle with this kind of brutality with grace like Jason.

It’s about time AI should change drastically.

Posted by aw | Report as abusive

Paula never ceases to amaze! But I think it was her usual spaced out blunders. She should stay as she is the only suspenseful thing left on the show.

Posted by Ruth | Report as abusive

Paula is able to express some disjointed, oddball thoughts immediately after a performance, but she just doesn’t have the brainpower to assess 10 performances all at once, which was the original concept for the show. So, someone had to provide her with notes. It’s as simple at that. With the notes in front of her, she didn’t even bother to pay attention to the performances, so she didn’t even realize that only one of the songs had been sung. It would be sad if the show hadn’t resurrected a stalled career and made her a multi-millionaire. The joke’s on us.

Posted by kathy | Report as abusive

Ok, its time to select who leaves us this week. I think there need to be two exits. First, Paula. She no longer deserves to be on this show. She is an embarassment. Even if the show was shown out of sequence with her having seen two performances of Jason, she was obviously not listening to Ryan and not with it. Whether its her whackiness or a bigger scarier problem either way its past the time for her to go.

Overall, as a great fan of Neil Diamond I was ready for a great show as his music is felxible, melodious, big orchestra/ big beat material and often deeply emotional. What we got was quickly thrown together performances by young talented people who had not a clue how to perform this music. It was a shame as Neil Diamond deserved better. His mentor comments, however were not very helpful but mentor comments usually are not.
The best song of the night was Cook’s second song. David A., Syesha, Brook and Jason simply “walked through” at least one of their songs. Jason’s Bluejeans was ok as was David A’s Sweet Caroline. Brooke’s I Am I Said was passable with at least some emotion. The change to “Arizona” from N.Y. was not a good idea by Neil.
Syesha sings everything well but exactly the same, boring. She lost all emotion from Hello Again. Big winner…Cook…Big Loser…Syesha.

Posted by Steven | Report as abusive

Paula does have Parkinson’s, and is taking meds (which do not alter behavior, but help motor control). Simon (like he says….the English are synical) always appears bored and critical. Randy is usually right on, but does appear to agree w/Simon. Paula is a kind person, and I believe she dislikes leaving the contestants feeling miserable. The show did seem rushed and I think we all felt badly for Brook and Jason. Jason is an entertainer, but does not have the best voice. Syisha has a great voice and should not be dismissed so easily; she will get a recording contract and Brook will too (just my opinion). Game shows have always had a script and I believe A.I. follows some guidelines. These soon-to-be stars (all of them) are being watched by Record Labels and will do well after A.I., even if they lose.

Posted by Jeanne | Report as abusive

Why do any of you care if the show is rigged or not? How does this affect your life in any way? Are you richer, pooer, happier, sadder, smarter, dumber, fatter or skinnier because of this show? No? Then quit complaining. It’s possible Paula made a mistake, she is after all, human. You will still watch this show week in and week out, regardless of who the judges are. Paula is like the drunk sorority whore at the party, dancing all over the place and making out with everyone. She is annoying, but she does make the show that much more bearable.

As for Castro, compared to Sayesha, and the two Jason’s, he was terrible! I did like “Forever in blue jeans”, but I think it was mostly because of the song, not him. He should be going home tonight and not because of this huge conspiracy that everyone seems to have about the show being rigged. Besides, if it is rigged, he’s probably got a number of record deals already offered to him.

Posted by JosephB | Report as abusive

*Compared to the two DAVID’s. Everyone makes mistakes.

Posted by JosephB | Report as abusive

How on earth do you get Brooke confused with Syesha? You have to be deaf, dumb and blind to think that way. Is Paula even paying attention at all? “Brooke your just Brooke and we love you”, “No wait, Syesha your just Brooke and we love you” Haha!!! “Jason your just David Cook and we love you” And on and on and on…………

Posted by SLQ | Report as abusive

I think she’s on some kind of downer/anti-depressant. At least I’d like to think that because she otherwise seems to be two or three cards short of a full deck.

Posted by Francesca | Report as abusive

AI was thrown wide open. My assessment: the problem is not that all three of the judges give pre-planned reviews provided by the producers — Randy and Simon have enough experience and expertise that they can come up with it on the fly — but that Paula was so wasted last night that someone had to write her comments out for her before the show. Then she still managed to screw up by reading the wrong part of the page they had given her. It is a Paula problem. It is sad. I feel like everyone on the show knew what was up and tried to cover for her, but she was obviously so out of it that she just couldn’t be covered up. (Simon to Paula: “Just tell us who your favorite was.” You can manage that. Can’t you, Paula?) If the show goes for another season, the triad will be broken up.

Posted by Erin | Report as abusive

I’m sure the judges see the performances during rehearsal.

Obviously, Paula must have formed her opinion based on what she had heard previously even though only one song was sung by Jason. She wasn’t actually wrong in her assessment.

Posted by Debb | Report as abusive

Unfortunately, television which has great potential for changing the world, instead in the interest of greed panders to the stupidity, vulnerability, and sensation seeking viewers. That would be “US” people! So, let’s stop complaining and being so insulted when we figure out we have been duped. It just rubs our nose in how stupid we are and we don’t like facing that fact so let’s just blame those million dollar execs in high places who are having the laugh. We deserve it for watching television crap (90% of it), buying the products that allow it to be shown. Let’s grow up and smarten up, we’re better than this. And, as for American Idol it should be called “American Fool”.

Posted by lLarry Buffington | Report as abusive

(spoiler) America voted for Jason and he will be in Top4.
Hope this will be a wake up call for the producers!!
I want to forgive the judges/producers because they are highly paid to make fool of themselves:-))

Hope last couple weeks’ Jason’s experiences would strengthen his stamina and will do the electrifying performance and give us a bundle of joy despite expecting more Jason-haters bashing as well as knowing outpouring support. This would build his character which will inspire many more viewers.


Dang, guys, Paula made a mistake. All right, she’s not the brightest daisy in the garden, but everyone makes mistakes. She said she mixed up the notes, and maybe she did, but to immediately throw up arms and scream “CONSPIRACY!!!” is ridiculous.

Let’s be real, if the producers want someone off the show, they just have to put it on Ryan’s card that “so and so” didn’t win enough votes. Who tabulates these votes? Where’s the Checks and Balances? It’s a TV show which is fun, entertaining, and lively, but it won’t start a national crisis if Jason is voted off, if Jason wins, or if Paula flubs again (Which she will, which is why we either love her or not). Have fun with it, but don’t take it so seriously. These contestants will all come out ahead. They’ve recieved the notoriety from the show, the good ones will be in our limelight for years, the bad ones will slowly fade from memory…

Let he who is without “mistakes” cast the first stone.

Just my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.


Last nights show was sad, I was embarrased for Paula, she had no real clue she had even made a mistake. If people really listen to her babble they will realize she does this every week. Its entertaining, but still she owes an apology to the contestants and the viewers. But I doubt that will happen she apparantly gets lost when she has to do something different. Paula, put the drink or whatever down and pay attention to what your supposed to be doing.

Posted by Billie | Report as abusive

Obviously, there is some editing and not all is “live” as Idol is represented. The comments on Jason are interesting, if the decisions were made on vocal quality only, he would have gone home much earlier. I am thinking about buying some hair and giving Idol a try next season.

Posted by Phil Ross | Report as abusive

last nights show was a truly disgraceful example of American stupidity – the very fact that they all watch this load of absolute twaddle is saddening for me. bring back the British empire! this show is the epitamy of the sickening over-zelousness of the Americans in general


OMG! :) I so love Paula! YAY! American Idol rules! down with the Idol bashers! hehe


no one will ever be as talented as kelly clarkson. and since she´s been gone from the american idol world, its been a dark and dreary place for me :( – - I LOVE YOU KELLY!!!


Paula has totally screwed up my main source of income now. Am i the only one hoping for another car crash soon?? we will be taking applications for new judges from the end of this series ( by the way – David Cook is the already decided winner – so don´t bother voting for anyone else, you´ll only be wasting your dollars)


The trust is gone. I want to see certified vote counts, and they better equal 100% of 36 million. The proof of truth is now their responsibility.

Posted by PresOfWeb | Report as abusive

Paula need to stop taking what ever shes taking befor the show, most of the time you can’t even understand her she mumbles to much,

Posted by Renee lupian | Report as abusive

I think it’s evident that American Idol is NOT aired completely “LIVE” as advertised. Try recording the show at home and then play it back. There are many changes that are obvious. For example, the recap of the performances at the end of the show include parts of the performances that were never actually seen. In many cases the microphone position, gestures etc. of the performers never actually took place while singing, however, they mysteriously are included at the end during the recap. I think Paula was simply having “dejavu” because she had already seen it. The show is recorded at least twice. It is NEVER aired LIVE as they claim. However, I will still watch it, because I still enjoy the performances.

Posted by rcurtis | Report as abusive

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