I got about 5 e-mails and one phone call about what will Paula Abdul's absence from American Idol mean to the ratings. My first thought was, 'Damn, can't a man watch Hell's Kitchen in peace!?" By now everyone has heard this news.
Paula Abdul announced her decision to the world on on her Twitter account when she said:
With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to IDOL[...]
And by now you've seen one of the 812,239 reports of the joint statement from FOX, FreemantleMedia and 19 Entertainment:
"Paula Abdul has been an important part of the 'American Idol' family over the last eight seasons and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show. While Paula will not be continuing with us, she's a tremendous talent and we wish her the best."
Can't Paula Abdul be at least as big of a diva as Brett Favre?
Of course she can!
I'm still not completely convinced it's over. I don't think she was lying, but I didn't think Brett Favre was lying the first time he retired and cried, only to unretire, then retire and cry again. I think he absolutely means it when he says it. But then later changes his mind. It won't surprise me to see him running around the field by November.
Would it shock me if Paula Abdul is every bit the diva Brett Favre is? Uh...no. But it also wouldn't shock me if somehow, magically she's reunited with the show in the next month. Once the auditions start and Abdul isn't there, it's another story.
But unlike Bill, I won't be surprised if she has really quit and is staying quit. Bill's line of reasoning makes sense if you're being completely rational. Unfortunately, people aren't always rational, especially it seems, if they are show business people. Bill's line of logic is that they're offering her way more money than she could make doing anything else -- and I'm pretty sure that's true -- so why would she give it up?
But she's made a lot of money already and will certainly be able to find work. It all adds up to her being in a position where she can afford to satisfy her pride and her ego if that's what she needs to do. It may not be rational, and it may be a poor choice, but, it's also about as completely human as it gets. Ego. Pride. Diva. Who can really be surprised?
I've never really watched American Idol, so I can't offer a decent opinion on whether the show will be more entertaining, less entertaining or as entertaining as it always was without her, but my peripheral sense makes me think that it will be at least a little bit less entertaining without her.
Will Paula Abdul obsess over American Idol ratings next year?
That was the original title of this post, and I'm guessing if she stays quit she will certainly obsess over Idol's ratings next year. Being a completely selfish prick, I hope she stays quit, that the ratings go down by 25% and she writes a weekly guest column for us that goes something like:
Me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha. Me me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha. Me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha. Me me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha. Me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha. Me me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha. Me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha. Me me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha. Me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha. Me me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha.Me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha. Me me me me me me. Ha ha ha ha ha.
Even if the ratings are down only 3%, I'd love to see it come to that. And of course, with Abdul out, there will be more obsession over Idol's ratings in general, and haters of reality TV* will rejoice, it will be a good time for a site that's obsessed with ratings. But I'm still not convinced they won't kiss and make up, so I don't want to get my hopes up.
*I am not a hater of so-called "reality TV" (hello, I LOVE Hell's Kitchen and thought the most recent season of Survivor was top notch!), but many of the commenters here absolutely loathe it even if they don't realize that in a roundabout way it winds up financing scripted content they do like.