Today, we bid a final farewell to Paula Abdul, 47: beloved American Idol judge, compassionate music producer, and shining example of what drugs can really do to a person.
Abdul has been with American Idol since its auspicious start in 2002, back when Simon Cowell was still an unknown British crank, and Ryan Seacrest was just the spiky-haired sidekick to Brian Dunkleman. Throughout the years, Abdul has established herself in Idol circles as the “caring” judge: one who rarely insults, and who always offers an encouraging smile (aww, shucks).
While Abdul has often been criticized by critics for not being critical enough, this criticism is ultimately flawed (just like this sentence). Although Abdul’s contribution to the judging panel may be limited, I truly believe that her presence has transcended American Idol. With Paula, she’s not just there for the music. Instead, she is so much more. She has brought critical issues to the forefront, opened dialogue on everything from healthcare reform to prescription drugs, and spearheaded long-needed change to America.
Some examples of her most important work:
A Shout-Out to Healthcare Reform: In 2005, Abdul landed on the cover of People Magazine, detailing her “Medical Nightmare.” In the article, she discusses the chronic pain from an old cheerleading injury that had led to some of her bizarre Idol behavior (eg. slurring her words, falling asleep, clapping as if she had flippers instead of hands). Although she didn’t say it explicitly, Abdul was making an unmistakable call for reform. After all, if one of the wealthier women in the country can’t get adequate care, then how is Joe the Plumber going to survive? Plumbing is more taxing than cheerleading, you know.
An Example of Feminism: Controversy arose when dismissed season 2 contestant Corey Clark claimed that he had a 3-month affair with Abdul during the show’s taping. His book, “Sex, Lies, and Paulatics” not only stretched the homophonic properties of the English language, but also exposed a potentially sordid side of Idol. However, (if true) the affair only reveals that Abdul used her power to lure young men to her britches. She is just following the timeless example of men who have used their influence to get women. If powerful men do it all the time, then why can’t powerful ladies get in on the fun? Thus, Abdul’s only transgression is that of being a cougar with bad taste. To this, we say, you go girl! Get that nasty creep!
Serving as an Economic Bellwether: Abdul reportedly turned down a $5 million+ deal to return to Idol… though, of course, her rejection may just be a clever negotiating tactic to get more cash in her clunker (we’re waiting for Idol reps to tweet back). With such a move, Abdul has clearly proved to economists that the recession will continue as long as buffoons are still being offered ridiculous amounts of money. I mean, I’d be happy to bank $5 million for getting drunk and making nonsensical comments. I often do it for free. So, thank you, FOX, for subverting the principles of economics and showcasing America’s finest. No wonder NewsCorp. lost $203M last quarter…
I think I have proven my point: Paula Abdul is so much more than a singer, dancer, choreographer, serial divorcee, and American Idol judge. She is also a true humanitarian. As she would say, “You’ve got a sensitive side of you… got, uh, total, uh spicy side of you… You are real. You’ve… got… to keep going.” Ditto, Paula. We feel the same way. We will miss you.