Fox Seeking Permanent Fourth Idol Judge to Wreak Havoc on Your DVR
Fox entertainment chairman Peter Rice kicked off his segment at this morning's Television Critics Association press tour by bluntly stating that "Paula will not be returning to Idol." Rice then fielded questions about the failed negotiations, the unfortunate replacement strategy and what Abdul's absence will mean for the show. But this could still be part of an elaborate negotiation strategy, right?
Not according to Rice, who revealed that the show has already booked Katy Perry and Victoria Beckham to fill Abdul's Coke-sponsored seat as guest judges. American Idol will stick with its bloated four judge panel, finding a "female performer" each week who can demonstrate "great chemistry" with Randy, Simon and Kara. The network hopes to come up with a long-term solution by January.
Responding to a further Abdul bluffing question, Rice said, "We have concluded our negotiations." He went on to explain what we already knew, that Fox offered Abdul "a substantial raise" which she chose not to accept. Ever since Abdul's manager David Sonenberg hinted that the negotiation process was going less-than-smoothly, the network scrambled to come up with a makeshift replacement plan.
Sadly, even Rice could not deny Abdul's unmistakable presence, conceding that the new season will definitely have "a different dynamic and energy."