Today Paula Abdul provided a quick update on the status of her contract negotiations to return for the ninth season of American Idol: "Hi everyone. I've been quiet as we are trying to work out details of how I can return to #Idol," she said on her Twitter. On July 21st she Tweeted that producers had still not been in touch.
With Abdul's return to Idol still in question, the show agreed to terms with fourth judge Kara DioGuardi to bring the songwriter back for a second season, a close source to negotiations told E!. "Her deal is done. There are no ifs, ands or buts," a source said of DioGuardi's return for Season Nine. "Done. She will be back." While terms of the contract weren't revealed, it's assumed that DioGuardi will cost significantly less than the other three judges, who have been with the program since its debut season, as well as host Ryan Seacrest, who recently re-upped his contract with a lucrative deal.
While neither DioGuardi's people nor Idol reps would confirm the report, the source said DioGuardi, who helped pen Season Eight's coronation song "No Boundaries," will be back at auditions next week. As Rock Daily previously reported, Abdul's manager said it was unlikely that Abdul would return to AI after failing thus far to agree to terms on a new contract. "Very sadly, it does not appear that sheâ€™s going to be back on Idol," David Sonenberg said, adding that at that point he still hadn't even received a contract proposal. DioGuardi's addition to the judge's table last season had many whispering that it would lead to the departure of the occasionally-unstable Abdul, who later said she "can't be replaced" on the show.
Still, Abdul has publicly quarreled with AI producers in recent years, especially following the suicide of obsessed Abdul fan Paula Goodspeed, who overdosed outside Abdul's home in late-2008. Abdul criticized producers for allowing Goodspeed to audition in front of Abdul despite Abdul's concerns that Goodspeed had stalked her in the past. Plus, AI producers still have to negotiate a new deal with Simon Cowell after this season, so Abdul might be priced out of the budget. Randy Jackson is already under contract for several more seasons.
Following news of Abdul's contract standoff, both fans and former AI contestants took to Twitter in support of Abdul, starting the #KeepAbdul movement. "If it weren't for you, this specific time and situation would feel a whole lot worse," Abdul responded to the outpouring, "I'm actually moved 2 tears upon reading the enormous amount of tweets showing me your kindness, love,& undying support. God bless all of you!"
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