Was Paula pushed out of American Idol - and is she coming back?

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Yesterday I wrote about Paula Abdul's departure from American Idol. The comments I received suggest that there are many people who would stop watching the show if she is not on it and others who are less than happy with Kara DioGuardia, her replacement. Now TMZ -- which was right about Michael Jackson's death -- is reporting that a last minute deal may keep Paula on the show even though taping begins tomorrow without her.

But I was speaking with an entertainment industry source today who thought that Paula was actually fired from Idol with a big push from Simon Cowell. Why would Cowell fire Paula? My source had several reasons:

  • Simon does not like the way she hits him and interrupts him;
  • Simon blames her for taking too long -- if ever -- to get to her points and thus causing the show to go on too long -- thus forcing Idol to repay some advertising money to sponsors; and
  • She is the only judge who has no experience producing records, and he feels she can't pick money making performers.

I hope my source is wrong because I like having Paula on the show and I doubt Kara can pick up Paula's slack. Nor am I sure that adding Victoria Beckham to the show as a fourth judge would make me want to watch the show -- unless Posh can figure out how to smile.

Peter Cohan is president ofPeter S. Cohan & Associates. He also teaches management at Babson College. His eighth book isYou Can't Order Change: Lessons from Jim McNerney's Turnaround at Boeing. Follow petercohan on Twitter.

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