Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No Paula? Big Mistake!

The decision not to have Paula Abdul back for season 9 of American Idol is wrong on so many levels.

Paula equals entertainment. Yes, the judge banter works my last nerve often, but it’s the producers who want this, not Paula Abdul. For as much credit – and money- as they like to give Simon Cowell, it’s Abdul that creates the water cooler moments. How many times have you gone to work on Wednesday saying, “What was Abdul even talking about last night?”

I think the show is under the impression that they are at a higher caliber than they really are. This is a major “jump the shark” move on their part.

To Paula’s credit, she has always been the only judge who really understands her place. For all the negative comments you can say about Paula, she has always been grounded about her talent limitations.

I was there for Paula’s rise to fame. I remember that she was a dancer/choreographer who happened to be adorable. In the age of MTV, the decision came to make her a pop star, even if she couldn’t sing. Paula doesn’t break out into song like Kara does, because she knows she needs her synthesizers! This is why she is so sweet to everyone who has the guts to get up on that stage. Paula is the only one who knows what it really feels like to be up there, and I’ve always respected her for not forgetting where she came from.

Do you remember American Idol’s first season? They hired Paula as a judge because the show was set up to find a new pop star similar to her. They wanted looks over talent. Just like Greg Brady’s turbulent Johnny Bravo incident. They just wanted someone “who fit the suit!”

Thankfully, Kelly Clarkson somehow snuck in, and no matter how hard they tried to push her to the background, the audience actually had ears and the course of the show changed forever. C’mon, remember Ryan Starr? They were clearly going for looks over substance. Kelly’s vocal talent was so out of whack with the other contestants that it wasn’t even a fair game. Unless, of course, Simon kept trying to remind everyone about forgettable you were.

Paula keeps the show grounded and helps us remember its humble beginning. Don’t think for a minute that people are going to take this show as high caliber entertainment. This is a fun, cheesy search for a POP STAR. Hello, POP STAR! We’re not looking for the next Mozart.

This is a bad move and the beginning of the end for American Idol.

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