Clay Aiken – Is Paula Gone?

American Idol has been around for eight years.  It has produced many talented performers.  Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry and Carrie Underwood are arguably the most well-known and talented performers from the eight year run.

But what about Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Ryan Seacrest?  Certainly, they were not household names before American Idol hit the air-waves and now they are stars in their own right.

American Idol has shown in the past that the idols are expendable.  They seem to support their talent until another contestant comes along the next year.

But on Tuesday, August 4, 2009, American Idol showed that their judges are not that important to the show……..just ask Paula Abdul.

After weeks of negotiations with the producers of “American Idol,” Paula Abdul said Tuesday evening that she was leaving the top-rated singing competition.

Paula’s contract expired at the end of season 8 and she had been negotiating for a substantial raise from the estimated $2 million that she earned last year.  Unfortunately, she has included the public in her contract negotiations with Fox.  It is usually a bad idea to try to push your boss in a public arena.

There is some sympathy for Paula as she said she just wanted a fair deal.  Judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson are already locked into a contract for season nine so they are set.  Then it was announced this week that Kara DioGuardia, the newest of the judges would return for another year.  They all were signed for the year, but Paula and the show were stalled in the negotiations.

And then there is Ryan Seacrest who has signed a three-year deal worth some $45 million to stay as host of “American Idol.”   American Idol must think he is far more important than Paula Abdul.

Paula announced her decision on Twitter saying, “With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to Idol.  I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all … being a part of a show that I helped from day 1 to become an international phenomenon.”

Within an hour, FOX, FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment issued the following statement. “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.”

What do you think?  Do you think Paula was asking too much of American Idol or do you think the show just wanted to let her go?  Will her departure make a difference??  Do you even care??

Personally, I am not a huge American Idol fan.  But I will always be thankful that they introduced the world to Clay Aiken.

Below is a video of Clay Aiken singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” on the finale of Season.


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28 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Is Paula Gone?

  1. I don’t watch the show any longer, so I won’t miss her. When I did watch the show, I thought she was a bit of an airhead, and from what I have seen in the press the last few years, she seems to have her share of demons. However, I do have a soft spot for Paula from back when I was a fan back in the 80’s. I have heard nothing but bad, from people I know who still watch this show, about this new judge. I wish you the best, Paula. I don’t think American Idol is an ethical employer to be proud of. Maybe you next one will will be.

  2. I don’t watch the show, but why would they “fix” something that wasn’t broken? It was still getting great ratings and certainly a judge should have been as important to the show as Seacrest.

  3. I don’t watch the show any more either, but I felt when they brought Kara on last year and there were some rumors flying around that Paula wasn’t happy about it, that this was coming. A lot of businesses will do that, move somebody in and purposely piss you off so you’ll quit. Been there, done that. Personally I hope they fall flat on their faces. Good ridence.

  4. Thinking of one of the best Paula-Clay moment, when she asked Clay out for a date on AI and Clay said “You’re asking ME? Absolutely, absolutely!” She was the most supportive of Clay during AI.

    Seems like business as usual for AI. All the best to Paula.

  5. To tell you the truth…I really don’t care. I haven’t watched that show in years..and I will be glad to see it go. It’s the most rigged show I have ever seen.

  6. I haven’t watched the show since the Top 4 during Season 5 (except, of course, the finale that year).

    While Paula may have had her moments, I think she was a much needed part of American Idol – adding an essence of softness and caring. I don’t think it will be the same without her, I think they needed her to balance out the “yo dawg” of Randy and the nastiness of Simon. I haven’t seen Kara judging, but from what I understand she does not have the soft touch that Paula has.

    I wish her tons of luck, she seems like a nice lady with a kind heart.

  7. I have watched the show all these years and I feel this will hurt their ratings drastically. Kara is no replacement for Paula, IMO, and I don’t think she was well-liked by the fans. She probably settled for far less than Paula requested and since they had given such huge raises to the others, they prob wouldn’t meet Paula’s demands. I think this move will make this the last year for the show!

  8. Don’t care for AI. I agree its time for it to go. It was only there as a platform to bring Clay to the world. Job’s done.

  9. I think it is a crime that Paula was on that show for 8 years and they couldn’t give her something more than $3million – while the others are in double (and with Simon TRIPLE) digits. No wonder she left.

  10. I think Kara was deliberately brought on the show to eventually replace Paula. I don’t care what the AI/19 machine says, it was their plan way before this. AI has been going down hill consistently for many seasons and I am hoping this is the final “death-knell” for them. Farewell AI your stay has been way toooo long.

    I wonder what Randy’s salary is. I have never seen HIS figures. Anyone know?

  11. I don’t think there was any money left over to pay Paula, after what they gave Simon and Meecrest


  12. I remember when Clay was one of the only “Idols” that stood up for Paula, after that Cory Clark incident

  13. Oh..I remember…after the AI2 finale…..when Clay caught Paula, after she almost fell off the stage….

  14. I don’t watch the show anymore, but I don’t think Paula quitting was her decision. She could have been given the choice of quitting or being fired. Thanks for the Clay Aiken blog!

  15. I’ll miss Paula for her compassion and encouraging words for the contestants. I think her absence will have a negative effect on ratings.

  16. I have mixed thoughts on Paula leaving AI. The last few seasons weren’t as captivating as the earlier seasons. I’m not as “hooked” on it as I used to be. Too much glitter and glamour to the show, too many contestants that aren’t people next door getting a shot, but polished performers competing against those few kids next door. Too much blatant bias in judging. Paula added a bit of compassion towards the contestants and for that I think she will be missed.

  17. I’ve watched every year. will not again. this was very unfair to Paula–a slap in the face–hope she has many offers. my opinion-this will hurt the show

  18. I think the show will regret Paula leaving. While she is an “interesting” personality at times on the show, I liked her better than the other judges. I think she genuinely cared for the contestants and knew from experience what they were going thru on that stage. I haven’t really followed it much since Season 2 with Clay Aiken, but I did see it (or parts of it)a few times last season with Kara as a judge. I wasn’t impressed.

  19. Sorry Paula is going but as Clay Aiken knows, lack of respect is just another form of bullying. So good for her!

  20. I’m pretty much in agreement w/everybody. I lost interest in competition and “voting” since AI2, but did watch sometimes to check out the talent (and AI has, at least, been good for bringing new talent to the music industry) and because Paula’s loopy comments were often funny (tho I used to worry about her!). With the predictability, unfairness, and recent glitziness of the show, the producer’s insult of offering her only 1/5 of Ryan’s salary — why should she accept that? — is too much. Won’t watch again.

  21. I hope most people realize that as long as you have enough money to live comfortably on, to provide decent shelter, and keep healthy food on the table, then you truly have a blesed life. So if it were me I would have stayed.

    I will miss her but I do not have televison right now and it will be quite awhile before I do again. So at least some of the sting of that will be less.

    This was the first season I have missed in years. Clay’s being the first. The reason I kept watching after that is I didn’t want to miss out again, just in case. I had to go to a friends house to see this year’s finale.

    When I do get televison again and can see a full season it won’t be the same. I’ll really miss her.

  22. I haven't watched the show since season 2 as I felt Clay was the true winner and the show was rigged. That aside, I do have a soft spot for Paula as I felt she was the most supportive of Clay. I wish her all the best. If I were her, I'd just say good riddance.

  23. AI has made HUGE MISTAKE! Have they never heard the phrase "If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It"????
    AI will never be the same! When they added the 4th judge they screwed up everything!!! Paula is one of the reasons that AI was such a huge success for the first several years. AI is NOT the same program any more! Now all the emphasis is on WHAT BIG CELEBRITY CAN WE GET to come & perform! The contestants have been sidelined in favor of those who have already made a name for themselves!!! The original premise of the show – find an unknown & give them a chance to showcase what they can do, is now LOST!!!!! I am no longer interested!!!!

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