Paula Abdul Returns to American Idol! (VIDEO)

AMERICAN IDOL: Paula Abdul (C) surprises Candice Glover (R) and Ryan Seacrest (L) on AMERICAN IDOL Thursday, April 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Yarish/ FOX. Copyright: FOX.

It was truly a nice surprise when former American Idol judge, Paula Abdul, stepped out onto the Idol stage tonight to surprise finalist, Candice Glover.

Candice had covered Paula’s mega-hit “Straight Up” for her birth year performance the night before, and the former judge dropped by to congratulate her personally.

Paula bounded onto the stage in a bright red dress, sneaking up on Candice, who appeared genuinely surprised. Paula cried and the two hugged. Afterward, Paula was invited to take a seat on the panel (Randy gave up his) just for old times sake. She hugged Mariah and Nicki literally bowed in her presence.

Check it out below.

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  • H.A.


  • Damien Roberts

    How fantastic would it be if they dropped Mariah and brought Paula back next season!?

  • rbidol

    I didn’t stop to think about this last night, but it is amazing to think “Straight Up” was released the year Candice was *born*! And Paula still looks basically the same…and apparently is still wearing the same 1980s dresses!

  • Latin2

    Man, I sure miss then old days…lol

  • Jason Scott

    Hmm. Maybe this is a hint to get Paula back for next season??? PLEASE SAY YES.

  • Jason Scott

    Hmm. Maybe this is a hint to get Paula back for next season??? PLEASE SAY YES.

  • Katie Smith

    Something I never understood is why the casual posters hate Steven/JLo/Mariah for being “too nice” yet Paula is basically the same thing.

  • Damien Roberts

    Actually I never said I don’t like Mariah for being “too nice”, thats what you gathered from my comment. Up until last night Mariah barely communicated with Keith or Nicki this entire season, Paula would gel better with the other judges, thus it would be a more entertaining group.

  • Christopher Auyeung

    Personally, it’s because I feel like J-Lo and Mariah have the capacity for critical thinking but choose not to exercise it out of fear of being disliked. Pauler is just lovably useless, and it’s so endearing. I don’t think she adds anything of substance to the panel, but I just like her :)

  • Fran Smith

    I think Paula had a good eye (ear) for picking talent from the raw auditions.

  • blackberryharvest

    I like that she has no ill will towards the show and isn’t bitter. I don’t think we would ever see someone like Kara or Simon back on the show lol.

  • Karen C

    I do too. She was often the first one to say someone had raw talent early on, especially for those that ended up being successful but were hardly noticed in the beginning.
    Maybe that is something the show has been somewhat missing since she left, someone that can pick out the true stars even at the audition stage.

  • Robert Henry Eller

    First word in my mind when I saw Paula in that red dress: “Dynasty.”

    Love Paula. Fantasy dance partner and complete cupcake.

  • raminasr75

    I love Paula, she seems like a really lovely woman!

  • Brian_Cronin

    In all seriousness, what would the show really lose if they did, in fact, replace Mariah with Paula? It would be a step back in terms of star power, but the pull of nostalgia has to be a strong one, right? Wouldn’t fans be curious to see her return just as much as they would want to see the introduction of Random Celebrity X? As far as the actual show, It wouldn’t affect the show itself at all (as they’re both pretty useless) but it would save them a lot of money. I think they should seriously consider it.

  • Face

    man she has killer legs for a 50 year old woman… she was the most articulate she’s been in a longtime… even though she was crying… nice nostalgic moment… but I don’t think that’s a reason to being her back…

  • Lynn Di Resto

    Bring Paula back and get rid of Mariah and Nikki. They are overpaid and useless. If I hear daling one more time!!!!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    It was great to see Pauler again and so cool of her to appear on the show to give Candice her props in person.

  • Li Wright

    Sometimes you don’t break up the family, and that’s what Fox did with Paula. They could have kept her and Randy and brought in a 3rd person to “rotate” the seat.
    I think people forget that Paula wanted Seacrest money $15Mil and they gave it to JLO and more to Mariah. What a slap.
    oMG – Nicki and those pannies!

  • Li Wright

    Wrong — Nicki turned her back to Randy and Mariah when THEY spoke….get it straight dude.

  • Li Wright

    Paula had “personality” too, a bit crazy, but personality.

  • Li Wright

    You do remember that FOX wouldn’t pay Paula $15Mil, but turned around and Paid Mariah and Jlo that amount!

  • Li Wright

    The show does. not. need. 4 judges! Who came up with that lame idea? It was always 3 judges, except for the two seasons with Ellen and that was a fail. Three is their lucky number. I don’t think even Nigel wanted 4 judges, but he’s outvoted by the FOX gods.

  • Li Wright

    Didn’t Nigel bring back Mary Murphy and she was considered “looney” but she had great personality and great eye for talent?

  • Li Wright

    Hmmm….makes me think who’s next? Simon! Yay! That would be a hoot.

  • Li Wright

    Let me also add, she had “style” (like JLO).

  • Pat H

    2 seasons with Kara. Ellen was only there one year & Kara’s first year, Paula was still there. :)

  • amadcow2

    Okay, so the idea on the table: Bring back Pauler…

    – The 4 judge panel doesn’t work well
    – Nostalgia would boost ratings
    – Nikki and Mariah just don’t work well together

    – It may be a good way to get rid of Randy

    – We remember what happens when Paula opens her mouth. She makes Mariah seem articulate.

    All in all, it’s going to depend on ratings this year. Bringing back Paula would be a ‘hail Mary’ to ignite some buzz around Idol. Honestly, if they just made a panel of Jimmy, Paula, and Kieth, I’d be happy and suffer through Paula’s incoherent ramblings, but if I had to suffer through Randy AND Paula.. well, The Voice looks better and better for my musical reality tv.

  • 1rollbounce2

    I loved Paula season 1. She got nutty as time passed of course. And because I can’t help myself – the plastic surgeon she goes to should be fired. She’s borderline belonging on plastic surgery nightmares with Kenny Rogers and Joan Rivers!
    In all honesty though – this moment made me think she belongs at that table…as does Simon and Randy.
    She never fixed her hand clapping dysfunction either!

  • Montavilla

    I just had to watch this again this morning. About ten seconds into Randy’s “I tried calling Paula” spiel, I knew she’d be showing up. But that didn’t make it any less of a pleasure to see Paula surprise Candice like that.

    I have to say that last night was the best results nights ever. I can’t even think of one that came close.

    And, no diss to Janelle, I think letting her go was the right decision. If they’d saved her after bussing her the night before, it would have smacked of pure manipulation. Now it’s only kind of manipulated.

    And, as a bonus, we have something to talk about for the next week: What will Nigel do to fix the schedule? Hehe. Well played, Uncle Nigel. Well played.

  • Montavilla

    Yes. Season Nine seemed to prove that, since (although the contestants were talented) they didn’t have the star quality of earlier seasons.

    Or maybe Paula’s motherly nature helped bring out the star quality in that period between audition and live shows. There was some benevolent magic that she brought to the show — along with Simon’s stern daddy act.

  • Montavilla

    I think it more like $5 million they wouldn’t pay Paula.

  • Montavilla

    I think Kara would come if she could be sure that the audience wouldn’t throw tomatoes at her. :)

  • Damien Roberts

    Nicki communicates with both Randy and Keith…sorry, just my opinion.

  • Diana Adams Tyler

    I would like Paula back too. I thought it was a mistake when they let her go. I will admit shes a candidate for bad plastic surgery.

  • blackberryharvest

    Paula was just nice to everybody so of course she could pick out stars. Everybody in her eyes was one lmao.

  • stargazed

    Paula is entertaining, Mariah is not. Niki Menagerie is a mess…. so is Paula, but she’s fun while being a mess. Bring Paula back, please.

  • Kariann Hart

    I thought they wouldn’t pay Paula $1 million, like Randy. One female judge is enough.

  • Kariann Hart

    But why does Nicki always have her backturned against Randy?

  • Damien Roberts

    I’m not getting into the Nicki vs. Mariah thing…I just don’t think Mariah is doing what she’s getting paid for.