As Paula Abdul's American Idol counterparts continue to ink deals to return to the series for its upcoming ninth season, the judge's manager says his client will ditch the FOX show unless producers change their tune.
"Very sadly, it does not appear that she's going to be back on Idol," Abdul's manager, David Sonenberg, who has yet to receive a proposal for her return, told The Los Angeles Times. The new season is set to premiere in January. "I find it under these circumstances particularly unusual; I think unnecessarily hurtful," he added of the holdup. "I find it kind of unconscionable and certainly rude and disrespectful that [Idol production companies Fremantle and 19 Entertainment] haven't stepped up and said what they want to do."
According to Sonenberg, who began managing the star in June, he told the network Abdul would "love to be on the show," but has not heard back as to any sort of proposal. "She's not a happy camper as a result of what's going on. She's hurt. She's angry," Sonenberg said. "I think at this point we're going to be considering everything, including some kind of a competition show. She has tremendous ideas for a whole variety of shows." During an appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman last month, the Idol vet -- who has judged wannabe superstars since the show's inception in 2002 -- was cryptic about a return.
"I never said [I wasn't returning]. I just said that I'm not sure," she joked. "It's called, um, 'negotiating.'" This week, Idol's Ryan Seacrest inked a three-year, $45 million deal to continue on as host, tripling his previous salary of slightly less than $5 million per season. Judge Randy Jackson is signed onto the series through 2011, while Kara DioGuardi has also expressed interest in returning. Simon Cowell's future remains up in the air, however. He has said he may leave the show when his contract is up at the end of next season. British reports claim he has asked to be paid in excess of $100 million a season.