Paula, Don't Let Door Hit You On Way Out: Idol Staff

Employees toast departure of 'difficult diva'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2009 8:49 AM CDT
Paula Abdul, a judge on "American Idol," poses backstage following the show's finale in Los Angeles, Wednesday, May 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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(Newser) – Ryan Seacrest may be sad to see Paula Abdul go, but he’s in the minority: Longtime American Idol staffers were so overjoyed at her announcement, they threw an impromptu party, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “Can’t you hear our celebration?” one veteran staffer says. “We broke out the good champagne tonight.” More:

  • Rumored replacements for Abdul—if producers decide they need one—include Diana Ross and Natalie Cole.

  • Abdul reportedly wanted a deal “very close to, if not quite at” Ryan Seacrest’s $15-million-a-year level, a source says, and she was not happy with a final offer that would have more than doubled her current salary of between $2 million and $3 million.
  • Paula’s next stop could be Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. Producer—and former Idol producer—Nigel Lythgoe wants her “if I can afford her,” he tells the Los Angeles Times. NBC would also welcome her.
  • Another possible option? The View. “We love Paula,” a rep tells E! “Long before the Idol news broke yesterday, we had asked her to fill in as a celebrity guest cohost, during Elisabeth's maternity leave.” Unfortunately, the show isn’t currently hiring.
  • Meanwhile, another possible replacement for Paula on Idol is Victoria Beckham, Simon Cowell’s old friend. She has agreed to make a “one off” appearance as a guest judge for now, her rep tells the Mail.