While Paula Abdul may no longer have her job at American Idol, she is not without options. According to Reuters, ABC is considering a role for Paula Abdul on Dancing With the Stars. As Steve McPherson, entertainment president of ABC explained, “I would love to (have her). I was a little stunned by the (“Idol”) decision. We would love to have her on ‘Dancing’ either as a participant or a contestant.”
Paula Abdul may also have an offer with So You Think You Can Dance. As executive producer Nigel Lythgoe explained on EW, “I don’t know anybody who has had her experience being a dancer, choreographer, and a judge. I spoke to her yesterday morning. I didn’t discuss her negotiations [with Idol], but I said we were going to Vegas for Season 6 and I asked her if she would be available [to join us]. She’s going to come out and meet me Still, Nigel Lythgoe was adamant that she would not become a full-time judge, but rather as a guest judge.
While Paula Abdul has been relatively mum about her future, it’s worth looking at the pros and cons of participation in Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.
Paula Abdul on Dancing With the Stars? Pros and Cons
Given that Dancing With the Stars would be a stylistic departure from American Idol, it would be interesting to see how she fares with ballroom dancing, lindy hopping, or the Argentine tango. I doubt she would become a permanent judge on the panel, as Carrie Ann, Bruno, and Len seem to have an established chemistry and rapport. Still, I’d love to see her as a professional dancer on the show. She is more than qualified as a dancer and choreographer. She would also have more opportunities to experiment in different genres. Her nurturing personality, which defined her role on American Idol, would help her as a professional mentor.
If Paula Abdul becomes a contestant on Dancing With the Stars, I’d rather see her as a professional than as an amateur. Given that Dancing With the Stars is designed to teach novices how to dance, Paula Abdul would be overqualified.
Paula Abdul on So You Think You Can Dance? Pros and Cons
While I’d love to see Paula Abdul as a choreographer or mentor on So You Think You Can Dance, I wouldn’t necessarily want to see her on the judging panel. Nigel and Mary balance each other out the way Simon and Paula balance each other out. Nigel is the executive while Mary is the eccentric personality. The guest judge provides a choreographer’s perspective. Besides, I’ve always enjoyed So You Think You Can Dance because although it’s part of the Idol franchise, it seemed to have less of the commercialism and corruption associated with American Idol. Because Paula Abdul’s image is so tied in with American Idol, having her on the show might bring Idol baggage as well.
Paula Abdul would probably be successful as a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance, as she’d be able to stick with genres where she most excelled (lots of 80s throwback routines for example). As an occasional choreographer or guest judge, she’d do well on So You Think You Can Dance. Still, Dancing With the Stars might be a better move for Paula Abdul if she wants a clean slate from the Idol franchise.
“Dancing with Stars” role for Paula Abdul?, Reuters
Press Tour Diary: Abdul talk dominates ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ panel, Michael Ausiello, EW