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'American Idol' judge Paula Abdul "proud" of show contributions

UPI News Service, 01/04/2008 

U.S. television personality Paula Abdul said she has learned a lot about herself during her time as an "American Idol" judge.

"I have a strength I didn't know I had. It's a live program, and a naughty British man is constantly making people think there's something weird in my Coca-Cola cup," Abdul told Ladies' Home Journal. "But I'm proud of myself. I always figure out a way to swim."

She also said it has been interesting to see how "Idol" contestants and winners deal with their overnight success.

"Our performers think they're going to manage, but the reality is they're not," she said. "It can be a letdown even when you advance, because success is never what you expect. I just hope they have loving friends and family if they have to go back to their jobs at Burger King."

As for her personal life, Abdul described her relationship with her new boyfriend, restaurateur J.T. Torregiani, as "a good thing."

"I've experienced real loneliness, so I love knowing there's someone I can share the good and the not-so-good with," she said. "And I want kids! If it doesn't happen naturally, I can always adopt."

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Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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