Paula Abdul’s manager says his client won’t return for American Idol 9 because she “doesn’t even have a proposal for a new contract from FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, the production companies behind the show,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
That follows Paula Abdul reportedly telling the AP she’d been invited to return to the Fox series through the end of its run; a month earlier, she was “not sure” if she’d be back. Now, her manager is using stronger language.
“Very sadly, it does not appear that she’s going to be back on ‘Idol,’ ” David Sonenberg told the newspaper. “I find it under these circumstances particularly unusual; I think unnecessarily hurtful. I find it kind of unconscionable and certainly rude and disrespectful that they haven’t stepped up and said what they want to do. … She’s not a happy camper as a result of what’s going on. She’s hurt. She’s angry. I think at this point we’re going to be considering everything, including some kind of a competition show. She has tremendous ideas for a whole variety of shows,” Sonenberg said.
Of course, this may all just be an attempt to pressure producers into offering Paula a better deal. Paula and Kara DioGuardi’s contracts expired at the end of this season, while Simon Cowell’s is up next year; Ryan Seacrest has said thinks all four will return.
And now there’s a time crunch: The L.A. Times reports that “auditions for the ninth season [are] due to start Aug. 6”; that’s presumably when the judges will show up for callbacks, since auditions started last month.