Skip to Content
reality TV reviews, news, and analysis since 2000

Paula Abdul’s loopy TV interviews blamed on exhaustion, insomnia, the flu, audio problems

The first half-hour episode of Hey Paula introduced us to both Fun Paula and Diva Paula, but the second episode–which was not screened for critics–reintroduced us to Loopy Paula. It included footage of Paula’s disastrous live TV interviews she did before American Idol 6.

If Paula truly never has been drunk before, there’s clearly something else going on. Paula and her entourage work hard in interviews to blame her behavior on a lack of sleep and exhaustion, but it’s not convincing. Stumbling through an award acceptance speech, she tells us later that the speech was placed in front of her upside-down and out of order, but that doesn’t explain why she was largely incoherent. Paula adds that she has suffered from insomnia, although considering she gets coffee at Starbucks at 2:30 a.m., she’s not exactly trying to sleep.

The day of the interviews, her publicist, Jeff Ballard, tells us that now “she has the flu, she’s not feeling well, she hasn’t slept.” He also says, “She’s just not paying attention.” Any other excuses we can pile on? Let’s not forget “technical difficulties”, and those are mentioned, too.

In the studio doing those live interviews, she tells us she’s just “fidgety” when she’s staring into a camera lens, and adds that she’s also stuffed up. All these excuses would be funny if they weren’t so sad. To their credit, the producers showed us the media storm that followed, including the accusations that she was drunk and/or doing recreational drugs. Next week, she breaks down as a result of the criticism, insisting again that she hasn’t been drunk or done recreational drugs (always that qualifier).

During the interviews, Jeff Ballard tells us, “You worry about technical things, not her.” That’s heartbreaking and tragic, because it’s Paula that everyone should be concerned with, but that no one really seems to really care about.

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More great stories

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

Discussion: your turn

I think of writing about television as the start of a conversation, and I value your contributions to that conversation. We’ve created a community that connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

To share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space, I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to those rules.

Happy discussing!