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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 8

Paula Abdul denies report that she'll definitely be returning to 'Idol'

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/18/2009 

A recent report that all four American Idol judges will be returning for the Fox reality competition's ninth season was apparently premature.

Although reported earlier this week that Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson will be returning, E! News reported Wednesday that no final decisions on the judging panel have been made as Abdul continues to negotiate a new contract.

Both Cowell and Jackson are currently under contract with Fox through Idol's ninth season, however the same isn't true for DioGuardi and Abdul -- as DioGuardi signed only a one-year deal for the show's recently completed eighth season, which also represented the last year of a three-year contract Abdul signed with Fox in March 2006. reported that Abdul and DioGuardi are still negotiating the "finer points" of their contracts, which are expected to be finalized in the next few weeks.

However Abdul's publicist Jeff Ballard stated that isn't entirely accurate.

"The RadarOnline info is incorrect," Ballard told E! News.  "Negotiations are continuing. You probably won't hear anything until closer to September, when judges are needed back to go on the road [for the auditions]."

Fox declined comment when contacted by E! News.

In March, Fox reality chief Mike Darnell stated that he doesn't foresee any changes to Idol's four-person judging panel for next spring's ninth season, and in May Cowell "absolutely" guaranteed that all four will be back.

Abdul recently stated that she's "not sure" if she'll return for the show's ninth season.

(Photo credit Fox)

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