Paula Abdul: “I got lost in my notes”

American Idol 7 is so controversy- and drama-starved that Paula Abdul’s screw-up last night has become the most interesting thing about this season. It’s even fueled conspiracy that the show is scripted (Really? And they still end up with crap like last night?), that Paula is fed lines (Again, couldn’t they come up with something just a little bit better than the crap she says?), or that she was drunk (Please. She’s been so much loopier than that.).

But Paula has her own explanation: She got confused. “I got lost in my notes, and that is as simple as it was. It’s so confusing. We were all discombobulated. It was just crazy, that’s all,” she told Us Weekly.

Specifically, Paula said that her notes for Jason Castro and David Cook were on the same page, and that’s why she got confused, although she explains that in a way that’s even more confusing: “I started looking at what I’m writing… I was reading the critique of what I was writing for Jason Castro….” What?

Never mind that the same-page thing doesn’t even make sense. Sure, it’d be understandable if she read the wrong comment for the wrong performer, although with just five people, is it that hard to keep them straight? But either way, she just sat through each singer perform one time, and then three different times she suggested that Jason had sung twice. That has nothing to do with notes and everything to do with whatever the hell is wrong with her.

In defense of Paula’s general confusion, though, she said that the producers didn’t tell them about the stupid new format, so they had no idea what was happening until Seacrest announced it. “I go, ‘We have never had to do this before … Oh my God, what do we do?’ We were freaking out. I said, ‘We’re gonna need paper and a pen to make sure we remember what we saw.'”

Paula Abdul on Idol Mix-Up: “I Got Lost in My Notes” [Us Weekly]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.