When reports that Paula Abdul had become so disenchanted with her current American Idol paycheck that she’s considering leaving the show surfaced over the weekend, we sort of figured the public threat was all part of a negotiating ploy by Abdul’s manager to get Paula a well-deserved raise. After all, considering that both Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest just earned themselves large-scale pay raises, why shouldn’t the kookiest judge on television get some extra coin, too? But while things haven’t quite reached DefCon 4 yet, Radar is now reporting that Paula Abdul won’t return to the show next season for anything less than $20 million. That’s even more than the GNP of Tuvalu, people!
In Radar’s report, they state that producers offered Paula $10 million to return to Idol this season, which is five times what she made last year but some $5 million less than what the elfin Ryan Seacrest is set to pull in next year. And now her manager, one David Sonenberg, is committed to playing hardball. However, for what it’s worth, Simon Cowell doesn’t seem to be too concerned that things will do anything other than work out for the best of the show. He told Extra, “She’ll be fine. She’ll be on the show. […] I’ve just made it clear that I want Paula on the show.” That seems to bode well for Abdul, but if we were her, we would certainly tread lightly. After all, last time we checked, both Taylor Dayne and Lisa Lisa’s schedules for next January looked WIDE open.
EXCLUSIVE: Paula Abdul Demands $20 Million From American Idol [Radar]
Simon Cowell Wants Paula Back On Idol [TV Watch/People]