American Idol: Paula Abdul Fought For David Cook, Threatened to Quit

David Cook David Archuleta Paula Abdul Simon Cowell Randy Jackson American Idol 2008 Finale

Paula Abdul Claims She Battled Against Fellow Judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson for David Cook

According to Paula Abdul, the American Idol  judges had a heated argument over keeping David Cook in the competition. David won American Idol season 7 back in 2008. David Archuleta served as runner-up. At the time, Paula sat on the judges panel alongside Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson.

Fans might remember, Idol producers didn’t promote David in the run up to the season premiere in January 2008. Indeed, the producers seemed more interested in the Australian singer Michael Johns (who passed away in 2014) as a potential winner. But while voters eliminated Michael shockingly in 8th place, David went on to win it all. Should he be thanking Paula?

She Believed in David Cook so Much, Paula Abdul Threatened to Quit Idol

“I threatened to quit the show because I believed so much in David Cook, and Simon [Cowell] and Randy [Jackson] weren’t big believers,” Paula told US Weekly. “I said, ‘This is crazy. I think this guy can win.’ This was before The Green Mile. It was right after Hollywood Week. And I said, ‘You guys are wrong. You’re wrong. And I’m so steadfast on this. He can win this show.’ And that is the truth.”

Paula continued, “So we shut down production for hours and hours, until they finally gave in. It was like, the producers let me fight it out with Simon and Randy, because Randy initially was going for David Cook and then he changed his mind because Simon got to him.”

Can you imagine the American Idol season 7 live shows without David Cook? If this story is 100 percent accurate, kudos to Paula for sticking to her guns. David’s rise from the shadows, based on hard work and clever strategy is arguably one of the more satisfying competition arcs in American Idol’s history.

Contestants Had No Idea What was Going on in the Outside World

Paula also noted how in those days, before social media, the show literally sequestered contestants away from the press. “Our show made it crazy for the contestants because they are so secluded in their own little bubble while we’re producing and doing the live shows, that they had no idea what it was like on the outside world.”

American Idol aired on Fox from 2002 to 2016 before ABC revived he iconic competition series in 2018 with new judges. Paula served on the panel for eight seasons before leaving in 2009. As it turned out, David’s season was her last…

About mj santilli 34831 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!