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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 9

'American Idol' producer denies report show wants Paula Abdul back

By Christopher Rocchio, 04/16/2010 

Paula Abdul isn't returning to American Idol anytime soon.

"There's no truth to that rumor," executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz told reporters during a Thursday conference call.

Frot-Coutaz was responding to a Thursday In Touch Weekly report that claimed American Idol producers were considering putting Abdul back on the show's judging panel.

"They want Paula back," a source told In Touch.

"They're not sure if she'd be the fifth judge, but they are talking to her. People tuned in to see Paula's wacky antics and her chemistry with [Simon Cowell]. The show is just not as much fun to watch without her."

In addition, the source told In Touch that Fox executives are afraid the upcoming loss of Cowell -- who will leave the judging panel after the show's currently airing ninth season -- could damage the show's ratings.

Abdul announced last August that she was leaving American Idol after reportedly rejecting a $5 million a year offer to continue serving on the show's judging panel.

She was subsequently replaced by Ellen DeGeneres and -- while Abdul wished her "the best of luck" in a Twitter post -- reports surfaced that Abdul was privately "very upset."

Cowell inked a deal with Fox in January that will end his American Idol judging role and launch his British The X Factor reality competition series on the network in Fall 2011. 

He immediately began hinting that The X Factor may give him a chance to reunite with Abdul, and she subsequently stated she "absolutely" still talks to Cowell but continued to play coy when pressed whether it had to do with her possible involvement with The X Factor.

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