There are going to be some big changes when the new season of "American Idol" debuts next month, including the addition of fourth judge Kara DioGuardi as well as the reintroduction of the wild-card system. But one thing fans shouldn't expect to change is Paula Abdul's standing as one of the show's judges.
"There's never been any discussion that we would want to get rid of Paula," the show's executive producer, Ken Warwick, revealed to reporters Monday afternoon (December 15). "She's one of the foundation blocks of this series. And I certainly wouldn't want to lose her, and I don't honestly think America would want to lose her either. She keeps Simon well in control, which is worth its weight in gold."
And Warwick said he isn't the only one standing behind the judge. "America loves Paula. She's an integral part of this program. And as far as I'm concerned, I hope she's there till the day it comes off the air."
Warwick also addressed recent comments made by Abdul, who claimed she warned producers about season-five auditioner Paula Goodspeed. The "Idol" hopeful ended up overdosing on drugs outside Abdul's home in November. Warwick insists he was never told that Goodspeed could be a threat. "I was in the room, and I can absolutely put my hand to my heart and say I didn't know," he said. "If I thought anyone was dangerous for any reason, I would not let them in.
"The fact is, [Abdul] may have mentioned it to somebody," he further explained. "She certainly didn't mention it to me. She certainly didn't mention it to somebody with the clout to say, 'OK, we won't let this person in.' Personally, I wasn't aware of it. End of story."
He added that if producers think anybody is not stable enough to handle the auditioning process, they are inclined to not let them do it. "There have been people who have appeared aggressive to us that we haven't let through to the judges," he said.
He also noted that in cases where contestants seem dangerous, they don't let them in the room with Paula, Randy and Simon. "If we think that person is going to be a problem, then we don't let them get as far as the judges," he said. "I would never contaminate the credibility of the show by putting somebody through who was dangerous in any way. It's a really unfortunate situation."
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