If you watched American Idol at any time during the first seven years of its run, you’ll likely remember the absolutely chaotic energy between judges Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. Both have long moved on from the competition series, but on Monday, Abdul conjured some of that old, weird magic while filling in for current American Idol judge Luke Bryan, who is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19. When host Ryan Seacrest virtually reunited Abdul with the show’s third original judge, Randy Jackson, via an iPad, Abdul gushed, “I’m so excited to see Randy!” Jackson enthused, “Miss Paula Abdul, it feels like old times, right?” Replied Abdul, “Yes, it does! We’re just missing the STD.”
In response to Ryan Seacrest’s look of shock and an audible “Ooooo!” in the studio, Abdul clarified, “Super, talented, debonair.” In case you still weren’t picking up what Paula was putting down, fellow judge Katy Perry helpfully shouted from off-camera, “Simon!” Slightly off mic, Abdul can be heard telling Perry and the show’s third current judge, Lionel Richie, “I can’t believe I said that.” Boy, it’s like we’re back in the mid-aughts all over again.