NY Magazine reported Tuesday that Paula Abdul, the L.A. Laker turned pop star turned ‘American Idol’ judge is demanding $20 million to return to the show next year. Producers have offered Abdul $10 million for the 2010 season—a pittance if you consider it’s only a five-fold increase from her previous salary. Not to mention, the figure falls tragically short of Ryan Seacrest’s paycheck which clocks in at $15 million. So the Jewish princess pouts.
Is there anyone who thinks Abdul deserves to make as much as her co-stars? Cowell, for example, is a far more important figure. The provocative judge (and show co-creator) whom everyone loves to hate possesses the one opinion that matters—both to the audience and the ratings. Seacrest, the affable yet anodyne host, has the most on-camera work to do. Then there’s Abdul, beloved by Cowell (and ensnared in a very unappetizing flirtation with him) but mostly thought “weird” by everyone else. She is known for gushing incoherently at contestants and swaying as if in a drug-induced haze during performances rather than having an impact on ‘Idol’ votes.
For Abdul, the show is a self-serving vehicle. It even earned her a short-lived reality series in which Abdul pranced around her L.A. mansion, blathering on about nonsense, while various assistants did her makeup and brought her clothes. In an attempt to revive her music career during the ‘Idol’ finale last May, she debuted a new single in a sexy number, only to see Adam Lambert’s Rolling Stone cover sell more copies. Abdul needs to have her head checked for unhealthy levels of chutzpah. And she should thank her lucky stars for every moment ‘Idol’ stretches out her stardom, because without it she’d likely be $20 million in debt.