The cast members of the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars were announced today, and to the surprise of many, Paula Abdul’s name wasn’t among this year’s crew of waltzing celebrities (see the list at Us Weekly). According to the Los Angeles Times, even though ABC was among the most enthusiastic of the major networks vying for Abdul’s services after she announced she was leaving American Idol, Abdul and ABC have failed to come to agreeable terms to bring the former judge over. Negotiations have broken down so badly, the LA Times writes, that Abdul’s rumored cameo on next season’s Ugly Betty has also been called off.
So where does this leave Abdul? According to TMZ, the reason she didn’t join Dancing With the Stars was because she wanted to be able to join American Idol if the show’s producers finally met her $10 million contract demands. With ABC likely not happening, Abdul is reportedly hoping to rejoin American Idol, “sources” tell TMZ.
However, as Rock Daily reported last week, the money isn’t the only reason Abdul left Idol: Abdul felt that subtle jokes from her co-stars regarding her rumored drug addiction and her affair with a contestant reportedly cost Abdul a chance at a lucrative endorsement contract. Plus, Abdul wanted to be paid in the same ballpark as Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest.
Meanwhile, American Idol isn’t waiting around for Abdul to rejoin the judge’s table. After Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry previously filled in Abdul, People reports that both Mary J. Blige and Shania Twain will serve as temporary judges during the audition phase of Season Nine. Blige reportedly sat in during the Atlanta auditions, while Twain will sit beside Simon Cowell when Idol comes to Chicago on August 30th and 31st. Producers are reportedly still searching for a full-time fourth judge, with the New York Post‘s Page Six reporting that Jessica Simpson is lobbying for the chance to Abdul’s vacant chair at the judge’s table. Us Weekly, however, has a quote from Simpson’s rep, who denies the report is true.
• New Report Examines Reasons for Paula Abdul’s “American Idol” Split
• Paula Abdul Announces She’s Leaving “American Idol”
• Seacrest “Stunned,” Jackson “Shocked” By Abdul’s “Idol” Exit