Paula Abdul will likely be replaced by a new fourth judge during the upcoming American Idol 9 season, after female guest judges including Katy Perry and Victoria Beckham judge the audition callbacks, which begin tomorrow.
“Our intention is to have guest judges be female pop stars, female performers, female artists,” Fox entertainment chair Peter Rice told critics moments ago, confirming two of them: Katy Perry and Victoria Beckham. He said, “Our intention is to have guest judges at each one of those auditions.”
“Between now and January, we will come up with a more permanent solution,” he said, adding, “We will probably have four judges back” and “come up with a replacement for Paula.” That means “there’s going to be a different dynamic” this year, he said, and “there’s also something exciting about that” because that will mean “a different energy to this season.”
As to the possibility of Paula’s return, he said Fox offered a “substantial raise on the money she’s been paid in the past” but now “we’ve concluded the negotiation and Paula has decided she’s not coming back.” Rice said Paula’s departure is “very saddening to us” and “we very much wanted her to return.”