Critics, judges make fun of Paula Abdul when she misses a presentation because of an “eye infection”

Paula Abdul was missing in action at a FOX presentation for TV critics yesterday, and the other two judges–and the critics themselves–used the occasion to make fun of her. The Washington Post’s brilliant and witty TV critic Lisa de Moraes has the story, writing, “It’s the most fun we’ve had yet at Winter TV Press Tour 2006.”

A PR flak said that “Paula Abdul has an eye infection. She is on the way to the doctor and hopes to join us tonight.” de Moraes notes that Paula “looked just fine” on both the Tonight Show and Ellen’s show on Monday.

Once the presentation began, de Moraes writes, “Jackson and Cowell began to verbally wink at critics, as if to say ‘This is not our lie; we’re not lifting this lie, we have no investment in this lie — we’re too busy with our own lies.’” When one critic asked about an Idol contestant who sang while his eyes rolled into his head, Randy said, “He had an eye infection as well?” A critic countered, “No, no, he wasn’t accused of anything — he didn’t get an eye infection.”

de Moraes writes that FOX wasn’t very good at ignoring the Paula scandal: “One clip, of an alarmingly Corey Clarkish guy singing ‘You raise me up so I can stand on a mountain’ from Josh Groban’s ‘You Raise Me Up,’ cut to Abdul gushing about how his mediocre performance had blown her away. Did they learn nothing last season?”

Apparently not. One critic even told FOX’s president, “As far as I can tell, the conclusion of the investigation is that since no one actually saw her having sex with anybody, everything is okay.”

Paula Abdul AWOL From ‘Idol’ Panel [Washington Post]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.