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Abdul’s meltdowns an Idol tradition

WHAT DID PAULA SEE? It’s spring, which means rain and tulips and budding trees and the...


WHAT DID PAULA SEE? It’s spring, which means rain and tulips and budding trees and the inevitable American Idol scandal. (It’s also a slow news day, which is why I’m even bothering with this.) Judge Paula Abdul apparently made everyone watching Tuesday night’s show experience preemptive déjà vu, speculating about one contestant’s second song of the night while everyone else had only just watched their first.

Was she drunk? Is she nuts? Are the voices in her head plugged into a time machine? We’ve heard it all before, and no doubt will again, as Abdul’s little meltdowns are as much an Idol tradition as Stevie Wonder covers and Simon and Ryan gay-baiting each other. “Fact is, the press treats the show as if it's shocked – shocked - that there's gambling going on here,” wrote Verne Gay of Newday. “It's a reality show, which of course is a contradiction in terms; there is no reality in reality TV.”

The dirty non-secret that Paula is apparently guilty of blowing is that Idol’s judges watch the rehearsals, and therefore know perfectly well what and how each contestant will sing before they bleat out a note. “Why not explain how things work?” asked Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel, doing a marvelous impression of someone who cares. “I see no problem with the judges listening to rehearsal performances to help form their opinions. Wouldn't you prefer to have in-the-know judges rather than some who talk off the top of their heads?”

That would be nice, Hal, but I’d prefer to have profoundly deaf judges comment on the singers’ ability to dance badly, or make the “o-face” during the wow finish of each song. Even better, I’d like to staff the judging table with howler monkeys, or Russian circus bears who’ve skipped a meal, and who eye Seacrest and the singers on the stage with obvious hunger. And if Idol’s rating continue to sag over the next few seasons, I may get my wish.

PROJECT RUNAWAY:
Season 6 of Project Runway, the show’s first when it moves from U.S. Bravo to Lifetime after the upcoming fifth season ends, will be departing from its New York location for at least part of its filming schedule, moving to Los Angeles to accommodate host Heidi Klum’s schedule, according to a story on Entertainment Weekly’s website.

While it’s nice that the producers are so solicitous of Klum’s needs, it has to be said that Los Angeles is hardly a world fashion centre, unless you consider distressed denim, snakeskin, overpriced t-shirts plastered with ugly graphics and manky cowboy hats to be fashion essentials on the same level as a Chanel suit and an A-line black dress. “When will they replace Tim Gunn with Richard Greico and Heidi with Alexandra Paul?” wrote one commenter on the EW web site. “I won't watch if it's on Lifetime. PERIOD.” It seems to me that PR’s new Lifetime bosses are having a bit of an issue with the show’s core principals.

 
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