Paula Abdul says working with Simon Cowell again is like being on a ‘turbo-charged bike’.
The 49-year-old American recording artist and choreographer worked with the British music mogul on hit talent show American Idol between the years 2002 and 2009.
Paula joined the panel alongside Simon in 2002, before leaving the popular show after eight seasons.
The pair are starring alongside each other again on the judging panel for the highly-anticipated US X Factor, where they will judge budding singers with Nicole Scherzinger and LA Reid.
Paula has likened her working relationship with Simon to a fast-paced ride.
“Sitting down, it was like getting on a bike again,” she told ET Online. ” a new path and with a turbo engine on the bike.”
Meanwhile, Nicole insists that her role in the show is motivated by her genuine compassion for the contestants. The star, who replaced British songstress Cheryl Cole on the panel after she was sensationally axed from the line-up, was part of a reality TV girl group Eden’s Crush before finding fame with Pussycat Dolls.
“I’m definitely coming from a place of empathy and compassion,” she said.
“Being a part of the show is like a phenomenon. This is something no one’s ever seen before.”
US X Factor premieres next month on FOX.
The music mogul ‘ who appears on the judging panel of the show alongside Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger ‘ blamed a helicopter falling on his car for his tardiness, and L.A. revealed the British star is often late.
He told the crowd: ‘We are going to star without him. We don’t want you to have to wait and he’s always late. This time we’re going to get rolling, Simon or no Simon.’
Discussing his plight with the crowd, Simon joked he had a busy morning.
He said: ‘ had quite a hectic day. I’m very sorry.’
The 51-year-old star arrived during the middle of an audition, and when the participant turned out to be good, he took the credit.
An audience member told Digital Spy: ‘Simon was clearly delighted to arrive in the middle of a fantastic audition too – and naturally took full credit for it being so great. There were no complaints from him when the audience went even more crazy to see him.”
The US ‘X Factor’ has been beset with issues since it began in May ‘ original judge Cheryl Cole was replaced by Nicola when she reportedly failed to gel with Paula, who worked with Simon on ‘American Idol’.
Paula Abdul Debuts New Dance Series In January. Paula Abdul is getting back in the judge’s seat in January for her new show, “Live to Dance.” The new dance competition series on CBS will go head-to-head with the latest season of her former employer, “American Idol.” On “Live to Dance,” Paula Abdul serves as executive producer, mentor, and lead panel expert which will judge the dance acts going head-to-head for a grand prize of $500,000. That’s double the prize for winning “So You Think You Can Dance.”. Paula will be joined on the panel by former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and Travis Payne, best known as choreographer to Michael Jackson. Andrew Günsberg will host. “Live to Dance” will premiere with a special two-hour episode, where Dance Domes were specially constructed for the show in New York and Los Angeles and dancers of all backgrounds and ages and styles were invited to audition. The dancers were then given one more look before moving on into a “dance-off,” where they’ll win one of 18 spots to compete against one another during a live show, leading up to the grand finale where one dance act will be named the “Live to Dance” champion (and of course that half-million dollar prize). “Live to Dance” premieres Tuesday, January 4th at 8pm ET/PT for its special two-hour event, before moving to its regular time-slot Wednesday, January 5th at 8pm ET/PT. Live broadcasts begin Wednesday, January 12th.
Kara DioGuardi Announces Official Exit From “American Idol”. Kara DioGuardi is now the third judge from last season that is out. She announced her decision to leave the hit reality music series on Friday. “I felt like I won the lottery when I joined ‘American Idol’ two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave ‘Idol,’” said DioGuardi in a joint statement with FOX. “I am very proud to have been associated with ‘American Idol’ – it has truly been an amazing experience. I am grateful to FOX, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, as well as the cast, crew and contestants, for all they have given to me. I look forward to my next challenge, and want to thank everyone who has supported me. All the best to everyone on Season 10!” The Fox show has already seen the departure of frontrunner Simon Cowell and comedian Ellen DeGeneres, who stayed with the show for only one year before quitting. DeGeneres replaced former judge Paula Abdul after contract negotiations reportedly went awry in 2009. Randy Jackson is now the only original judge left on the series. Replacements for Cowell and DeGeneres have not yet been named, but rumors of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have been running rampant for weeks. Fans will have to stay tuned for future announcements, but the show will return to Fox in January of 2011.
Simon Cowell, known in the United States for his role in bringing ‘American Idol’ to television, will be honored in his home, the United Kingdom, with a special award. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will honor Cowell for his work, especially “his development of new talent.” In the U.K., Cowell has worked on similar amateur talent shows such as ‘Pop Idol,’ ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent.’ Now, Cowell joins the ranks of famous Britons like Jane Tranter, Paul Watson, Paul Greengrass, Adam Curtis and Andy Harries when he receives the award on June 6. “The Academy is delighted to be presenting Simon Cowell with this Special Award,” BAFTA Television Committee Chair John Willis said. “Over the past few years he has not only helped change the entertainment landscape but has re-invented Saturday night family entertainment. His shows enable exciting new talent to shine and are the most talked-about programmes on British television. He is quite simply one of the most brilliant entertainment producers of our time.”
Th 5/6: Samuel L. Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Jason Derulo on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC. Kara DioGuardi is a born and raised New Yorker, but she is of Albanian and Italian descent. DioGuardi attended Duke University and completed a degree in political science. However, she decided on a career path far away from her degree – she applied for a job on the marketing and publishing departments of Billboard Magazine. During her desk job at Billboard, Kara started writing her own songs. By 1995, DioGuardi successfully secured a record deal with MCA. However, Kara DioGuardi’s lyrical career only began when her friend Paula Abdul gave Kylie Minogue a copy of Kara’s album. Minogue used the song “Spinning Around” on her album and became a top-charting single worldwide. Since then, Kara DioGuardi’s lyrics are unstoppable. DioGuardi is an outstanding songwriter – a fact proven by artists that made her songs reach the top of the charts repeatedly. Such artists include big American names like Faith Hill, Pink, Santana, Backstreet Boys, Pussycat Dolls, Jessica Simpson, Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff and Britney Spears, among others. Kara DioGuardi has also helped international artists like Kylie Minogue, Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Belinda, Thalia, Anastacia and Diego. American Idol stars, including Katharine McPhee, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Hicks, Carrie Underwood, Bo Bice, Clay Aiken and David Archuleta have also sought the help of Kara DioGuardi. From all the artists Kara has helped, her songs have sold over 100 million copies altogether. From 1995 to 2008, Kara DioGuardi has successfully written over 40 international-charting singles, helping 45 albums reach the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. In 2003, Kara won a BMI Cable Award for co-writing and performing the theme song “Somethin’ to Say” for “For The People” – a Lifetime TV series starring Cecilia Suarez, Debbi Morgan, Lea Thompson and A. Martinez. The Grammy-nominated songwriter has also won the 2007 SOCAN Award and the 2007 “BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year,” after having been given 10 BMI Pop Awards for the “most-performed song on the radio” for four consecutive years. One of Kara DioGuardi’s recent achievements is a nomination for the Latin Grammys for “Best Song” after co-writing Belinda’s single “Bella Tracion” with Ben Moody, Mitch Allan, Nacho Peregrin and Belinda. Aside from songwriting, Kara DioGuardi also co-owns the Arthouse Entertainment, a publishing company that helps record companies, artists, songwriters and other music entities that need compositions, artists, productions and other music-related services. She also works with the non-profit substance abuse service organization, Phoenix House, which helps educate teens in operating recording studio equipments.
Madonna’s former manager commits suicide. Careese Henry, the former manager of Madonna, has died from what is being called at this stage a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She was 44. In her time representing artists Henry also worked with Ricky Martin, Jessica Simpson, Joss Stone and Paula Abdul. She died at her home in Irvine, California on Wednesday. Henry leaves behind two daughters, Honour Kristen Norman and Ava Careese Hinojosa. The family has issued a statement asking for the media to respect their privacy at this time. A funeral has been arranged for April 9th at 11am at St Paul’s Church in Westwood, California. Caresse Henry worked with Madonna for 10 years up until 2004. She was credited as Executive Producer of the Madonna Drowned World Tour of 2001. When she left Madonna’s employ stories abounded that she was fired due to a conflict in Madonna’s choice of Kabbalah.
Paula’s gone. Ellen’s coming. Is Simon going? (There’s singing, too!) American Idol enters its ninth season Tuesday (Fox, 8 ET/PT) with more focus on the musical-chairs judging panel than on the auditioners aspiring to pop stardom. Even if it temporarily distracts attention from the show’s hoped-for stars, all the chatter about judges — and that includes eight celebrity guest arbiters during the auditions — has created early and perhaps helpful buzz for a long-running series that has suffered some audience losses while remaining TV’s dominant ratings power. The departure of original judge Paula Abdul and the upcoming arrival of her successor, talk-show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres, is Idol’s biggest change. Abdul, who tweeted goodbye last summer, will be replaced during the first four weeks of audition shows by celeb guests. The audition period opens in Boston on Tuesday with guest judge Victoria Beckham, followed by Atlanta on Wednesday with Mary J. Blige (8 p.m. ET/PT). Viewers will have to wait until Feb. 9 to see DeGeneres, who will join Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi during Idol’s Hollywood round. It’s more than a comedic part, DeGeneres says.”If there’s something funny, I think I’ll add humor to it. If it’s not funny, I’ll just talk about what I liked or didn’t like,” she says. “I’m going to be honest, and I’m going to be looking for somebody that’s special and hope people try to set themselves apart.” It could take longer to learn whether Idol will have to go on next year without the show’s biggest attraction: Cowell, whose deal expires after this season. Cowell was non-committal in an interview, although it sounds like he’s not done with the States regardless of his Idol future. In a podcast, his brother Tony said Cowell would leave Idol after this season to concentrate on bringing his British talent show, The X Factor, to the USA.Says Cowell, “I’ve had conversations — as you know, there’s been speculation for months and months. We are continuing to talk to Fox, but right now the focus is just about this (season), and we’ll see where we end up.”Whether I’m on it or off it, I promise you — and I really mean it — I think the show will flourish without me. I genuinely do,” he says. “I’m very grateful. I’ve had the best experience in my life since I’ve been on this show. I hadn’t spent that much time in America. I really like working in America. I like the American people, so I feel very at home there.”Abdul ‘was the heart’ The Abdul-DeGeneres judging change could refresh the show, especially if DeGeneres turns out to be a good sparring partner for Cowell, says Shari Anne Brill of media agency Carat. “I really don’t see (Abdul’s absence) impacting the show, as long as the judge dynamic is good,” she says. “Next year, if Simon isn’t there … then you’ll see a real decline in the show.” The departure of Abdul, who has been on Idol with Cowell, Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest from the start, marks the biggest change yet to a formula that has resulted in the decade’s most popular series. Judges and producers say Abdul, known for her unfailing empathy and wildly unpredictable nature, will be missed.”I look across the table and go, ‘Where’s my girl at?’ ” Jackson says. “You miss your good friend, but she’s off doing her thing.” DioGuardi, who joined last season, says she took on some of Abdul’s supportive role during the auditions, trying to buffer the blow for some of the poorer performers. The guest judges helped, too. The roster includes Beckham, Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Jonas, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Shania Twain. Abdul is “very nurturing,” DioGuardi says. “She was the heart, and I think I was very aware of that during the auditions. There were times when someone would get upset, and I wanted to make sure that was represented.”"It’s a different show without her,” Cowell says. “I’ve gone on record saying how close I am to Paula, even though w used to fight. I have to respect her decision, and then I have to get on with the job, but I missed her (during auditions). But, like we say, the show goes on.” That it does. And it will go on with DeGeneres, a proven comic performer and music lover who arrives with first-name familiarity and strong connections to the show. She hosted the 2007 fundraiser Idol Gives Back and frequently discusses the show and features Idol judges and performers on her weekday program. Jackson calls his fellow Louisianan “a pro and a cool, cool girl” and promises “we’ll sauce it up.” DioGuardi, who had to get used to being in Idol’s bright spotlight, says an established star like DeGeneres should have an easier adjustment. “I think she’s such a strong character,” DioGuardi says. “When you lose someone like Paula, you have to replace her with someone who’s loved, who’s respected, someone who’s been through so much in their life and come back only to conquer it all.” The chemistry of the panel, which has added new members in each of the past two seasons, remains to be seen, but DeGeneres is confident the quartet and Seacrest will make it work. “I’m a talk-show host, so I know how to make things comfortable and I can feel what chemistry is going on or the lack thereof. I think I’ll fit in. I know these people. It’s not like I never met them,” she says. “I think Kara is really more serious about it because she’s a songwriter. She takes it really seriously and comes from a different place. And Randy is Randy. He’s got his opinions. … I sometimes disagree with Randy a little bit more, but I like Randy. I think you kind of want us all to disagree, don’t you? The good news is we all like each other.” And Cowell? “Simon and I respect each other,” DeGeneres says. “He likes me, I like him. He’s really a genuinely sweet guy, (but) I think sometimes he does things maybe for shock value, and sometimes he’s a little insensitive. I’m going to call him on that, which I’ve done all along. I’ve said that on the air on my show and said it to his face.” About the singers Fan Clarke Brown of Anchorage thinks that DeGeneres will add a lot but that the show’s fortunes ultimately come down to the singers. “The stars of American Idol are not necessarily the people sitting behind that desk. The stars of American Idol are the kids who give their all every week. That’s what I like about it. I like helping make a star,” Brown says. Oh, yes, the singers. Judges promise the traditional mix of good, bad and ugly as thousands of auditioners hope to follow last year’s Kris Allen to victory — or perhaps runner-up Adam Lambert to controversial stardom.”There definitely were a few people that came in, and I never would have imagined they sounded like that. I was pleasantly surprised,” DioGuardi says. “When you look at someone like Adam, he has the personality, the presence, and that’s exactly what you got. Some people came in and shocked me — in a good way.”Jackson says he expected more Broadway-style singers this year after Lambert’s success.There’s one potential difference from the pasttwo years, in which guys took the top two spots. The women seem likely to pose more of a challenge this year. “We need a girl. Where the girls at? C’mon, girls, show up,” Jackson says. “There are some strong boys, but I think we’ve got some really strong girls. Hopefully a girl is going to show up and knock our socks off.” “So far, and these things change, it feels more like a girls’ year,” says executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. She notes another interesting factor: younger singers who can barely remember a time without Idol. “A lot of them are 16-year-olds who have been watching since they were 8. They have been dying to come to audition.” As for the bad singers? “Inevitably, there were a ton of people who thought they were good and obviously weren’t and end up arguing with me, but that’s par for the course,” Cowell says. Structurally, the big change will take place in the semifinal round, where Idol will abandon last year’s 36-semifinalist format, which featured wild-card picks by the judges. The show will return to 24 semifinalists, 12 males and 12 females, to be determined solely by viewer votes. “The good thing about 36, it gives America a chance to vote on more people,” Frot-Coutaz says. “The downside is 36 is a lot of people to get to know. Due to the emotional engagement, you lose a little bit by doing 36. Where we came down on balance is we’re going to go with the emotional connection.” Cowell, not surprisingly, disagrees with the change. “I prefer the wild-card pick.” On a smaller matter, Frot-Coutaz says Fox plans to expand a couple of one-hour finalist shows to avoid a problem that occurred last year when there wasn’t enough time for each judge to critique each singer adequately. Idol remains TV’s most-watched show, with the Wednesday and Tuesday editions (26.9 million and 26.3 million, respectively) ranking first and second last season by a wide margin. But its combined average (26.6 million) was down 6% from Season 7, the third consecutive ratings drop since Season 5′s peak of 30.8 million. “It’s natural to lose viewers each year as a show ages,” Brill says. “Even though the numbers are down, they’re still the highest-rated shows. Even if it lost 2 million viewers, it’s going to still beat everyone up.” The show’s audience has grown older, too, with the median age of viewers rising 12 years since its inception, says Brad Adgate of Horizon Media. That means a comparatively greater loss of the younger viewers desired by advertisers. Even with viewer loss and talent changes, Idol remains that rare big-tent TV hit and is likely to endure, Jackson says.”Me, Simon, Ryan and Paula started the journey together, and you want the people whostarted the journey to complete it, but sometimes things don’t work out that way. But I think it’s going to be fine,” he says. “A show like this can go on for a long time. It may not go in the same iteration or may not be quite the same strength as always, but I think it can go on for a long time because it’s the best of these shows ever.” Cowell credits the talent pool. “America is one of those countries where you have a never-ending supply of talented people. So for that reason, the show could run literally for decades,” he says. “People only get bored when useless people show up, and I don’t think you’re going to have that problem in the States
A little more than a month after Paula Abdul tendered her high-profile Twitter resignation as a judge on “American Idol,” Fox announced Wednesday that she was being replaced by one of the show’s biggest fans, comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres. The network’s five-year deal with DeGeneres puts to rest a major challenge facing Fox as the aging singing competition enters its ninth season in January: filling the shoes of the judge considered by many to be the heart of the show. DeGeneres, who has hosted the Oscars and the Emmys and was recently a guest judge on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” broke the news to her audience during a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Continue reading →
Kelly Clarkson to guest judge on Idol. The ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’ singer – who won the first series of the US TV talent show in 2002 – will appear as a guest judge at an audition next week. A source said: ‘Kelly is beyond excited to get back to the show that started it all.’ It has also been claimed Kelly and the other current judges – Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi – will be joined by one of the Jonas Brothers to find America’s next pop superstar. Following the departure of full-time judge Paula Abdul, who is believed to have quit the show over an alleged pay dispute, a Continue reading →
Paula Abdul, who has been in tense negotiations with Fox for a new deal to stay with “American Idol,” wrote on Twitter tonight that she is leaving the show. Abdul wrote: “I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day1 become an international phenomenon.” Abdul’s contract expired Continue reading →
Not much has changed about Kris Allen since his mostly forgettable “American Idol” audition. Well, except for the winning-it-all part. When the 23-year-old college student from Conway, Ark., first auditioned with Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” in Louisville, Ky., he seemed nothing more than a boy-next-door “Idol” hopeful, lacking the instant juggernaut feel of showy 27-year-old runner-up Adam Lambert or even plucky 17-year-old spark plug Allison Iraheta. A newsboy cap pulled down around his eyes, Allen was asked back then by the judges if he was the best singer. “You know, there’s probably people who are better than me,” was his response, a humility that Simon Cowell said he found off-putting. “Idol” producers must have agreed. Back in February, viewers had seen less of Allen out of all the crooners that moved forward in the competition. During Hollywood Week, neither of Allen’s solos were aired, just his “I Want You Back” group performance. In fact, more footage from his original audition was aired during Wednesday’s eighth season finale than in any previous episodes. Once selected as a finalist, Allen got off to a rocky start after his first performance. The judges were decidedly mixed over his rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” yet his charming nice-guy demeanor quickly emerged when it was revealed that the longtime Jackson fan had been helping the other singers — his competitors of all people! — tackle their takes on the King of Pop. Allen himself seemed the most surprised about his shocking win by a margin of votes that, unlike last season’s landslide victory by David Cook over David Archuleta, was not publicly declared by host Ryan Seacrest. “I’m exhausted, and I’m shocked,” Allen said backstage after winning the title. “I’m really shocked.” In the beginning, the judges simply seemed, if not in love, then “in like” with Allen — not heaping the same amounts of love on him as Lambert until later in the season. The panel’s initial feedback bordered on superficial. Paula Abdul once gushed he was “adorable/sexy” while Cowell teased the smiley newlywed for introducing his wife so early in the competition, at risk of scaring of female fans. He always seemed to take their remarks in stride, content to forge ahead with his earnest singer-songwriter vibe no matter the outcome, never telegraphing a drive to best his fellow contestants. Instead, Allen stuck to focusing on his guitar and piano on the “Idol” stage, impressing the judges with his folksy, heartfelt interpretations of such songs as “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “She Works Hard for the Money” and “Falling Slowly” from the indie musical “Once.” He hit a crescendo last week when he transformed Kanye West’s robotic tune “Heartless” into a soulful, acoustic ditty. “I had written you out of the competition, but that has changed after that performance,” Cowell boasted afterward. However, it was runner-up Lambert who always received the most praise — by both judges and screaming fans — right until Tuesday’s final performance. All the while, Allen was apparently neck-and-neck with Lambert when it came to viewer votes: The only time either was in the dreaded bottom-three was after their Rat Pack-themed performances. Last week, only 1 million viewer votes separated them — a tiny margin considering that nearly 100 million votes were cast for the finale. “I knew it was going to be a close race,” Lambert said backstage. “I think Kris is incredibly talented, and he’s a good person.” Though never referenced on the show, Allen’s religious background may have also played a role. Allen has worked as a worship leader at his hometown church, traveling on mission trips around the globe. His pastor, Brandon Shatswell, said Allen told him that his first time on the “Idol” stage reminded him of only one thing: going to church.