Critic says Paula Abdul “seemed under the influence of something” during interviews

Paula Abdul’s pre-American Idol 6 publicity tour may have brought the show a lot of attention, helping to make the first episode the most highly rated debut yet, but her bizarre behavior in interviews last week prompted FOX to defend her. In a statement, the network said,

“She is a consummate professional who always gives 100% to everything she does. Last week, during a satellite press tour there were intermittent technical difficulties, including severe audio issues in which multiple stations were speaking to her at once,” the statement said. “Rather than getting angry about these difficulties, or stopping the tour, Paula forged ahead and decided to have fun with the increasingly challenging situation. Unfortunately, because reporters and viewers were unaware of the situation, her humor was misconstrued.”

That follows her explanation that her bizarre behavior was due to sound and other technical difficulties. As CBS’ Showbuzz reports, Paula “told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show that she was getting one TV station’s questions in one ear and another in her other ear and that made it seem like she was in her “own little world.”

Randy Jackson also came to her defense on the Today Show, saying, “It looks like one of those long days of like doing nothing but interviews. And I mean, we go through those all the time on the press junkets … and it looks like she’s just, it’s the end of the day.” That doesn’t explain why she seems to have fallen asleep during another interview: In the interview with a Dallas affiliate, she “closes her eyes for a full six seconds, prompting her concerned inquisitor to ask the subject if she’s a little ‘sleepy,’” Defamer reports.

More damning is evidence that this wasn’t an aberration. The St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans writes that he’s “interviewed Her Paula-ness twice in person in Los Angeles; once after an awards ceremony and once after an Idol press conference. Both times, she slurred her words, seemed to have a tough time following conversations around her and offered disjointed answers to simple questions.”

Just like in the interviews, Deggans writes “[s]he seemed under the influence of something — then and now. Idol producers are doing her no favors by pretending she doesn’t have a problem. And think of the ratings that might come from an on camera intervention! I’m just sayin’.”

America Idol Returns: The Ritual of Humiliation Has Begun [St. Petersburg Times]
Randy Jackson Defends Paula’s Odd Behavior [CBS]

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.