Paula Abdul having “no discussions whatsoever” about American Idol, “feels free”

Anonymously sourced/fake gossip reports be damned: Paula Abdul is not in talks about returning to American Idol. That’s according to her new manager, David Sonenberg, who, if anything, is too honest; he revealed Paula wouldn’t return almost three weeks before she announced she wasn’t coming back.

Now, he told the Los Angeles Times there have been “no discussions whatsoever about ‘Idol.'” Although Paula would “never count anything out,” she is talking to other people, he said. “She loves ‘Idol.’ She feels she was a large part of the reason it is what it is. I can tell you her focus right now is speaking to all the other networks. The only one we haven’t talked to, because of recent events, is Fox. But perhaps we would be speaking to Fox about shows in the near future,” Sonenberg said.

That makes it sound like her return to American Idol is not imminent, as so many reports have suggested. Most recently, Radar claimed that secret focus group “testing will help [Fox] see just how damaging it might be not to have Abdul back and figure out just what their new financial offer should be.” But the Times says that “hasn’t happened” as “insiders deny the focus group story” just as “Sonenberg and several sources close to the show say no new talks have begun.”

Sonenberg also said she’s not considering Nigel Lythgoe’s offer to join So You Think You can Dance, and added that Paula “feels fabulous. She feels free. I think in some ways she was typecast in ‘Idol’ and she was kind of restricted from doing anything she wanted to do and now she’s free to decide. She really is very excited about the future and that there’s support for her,” he said.

That all sounds so desperate that he seems to be saying, Someone please hire her, now.

Paula Abdul’s manager: “There have been no discussions whatsoever about ‘Idol'” [Los Angeles Times]
Secret Focus Groups Paving Way For Paula Abdul Return [Radar]

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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.