Entertainment behind the scenes
Paula Abdul, hard to replace on “Idol”?
The Fox TV network and the producers of “American Idol” are scrambling to find a replacement for Paula Abdul . The network has talked about British celebrity Victoria Beckham and pop star Katy Perry as guest judges. But can anyone fill in for the “Straight Up” singer and former Laker Girl on a permanent basis?
As Time magazine critic James Poniewozik told Reuters, “The reason that people sometimes make fun of Paula is the reason that people watch Paula.”
Abdul has racked up a litany of “weirdest moments,” and Fan Fare mentioned a few in a blog post here.
“She’ll be remembered mostly for her crazy talk on the judges’ panel,” Poniewozik said. “Just weird, kind of hazy and tactically un-diagrammable sentences. Sometimes she refuses to criticize singers when they clearly need it.”
And yet, Abdul has been widely viewed as an important part of the top-rated “Idol” formula for success. Simon Cowell, the alpha judge on the reality singing contest, said last month that he had “made it clear” that he wanted Abdul back on the show. Abdul and Cowell sat side-by-side on the panel, and their interactions often devolved into silly, love-hate taunts and tussles that got the audience laughing or howling.
Abdul may have been the most erratic judge on “Idol,” but critics often say she was more interesting to watch than co-panelists Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson. It remains to be seen if the “Idol” producers will even look for a permanent replacement, or if they will return to having three judges, as they always did until this season when they added DioGuardi.
The four-judge format was unpopular with many critics. As a commentator for news outlet MSNBC wrote earlier this year, “For a show already chock-full of filler, increasing the blather seems like a no-win situation.”
What do you think? Can Abdul be replaced? And if not, should Fox go back to three judges or try to get her back somehow?