For someone whose present career is based on critiquing live singing performances, it's ironic that when judge [artist id="1397"]Paula Abdul[/artist] took the stage on "American Idol" Wednesday night May 6 to debut her new single, "I'm Just Here for the Music," the 46-year-old former pop star did not look like she was actually singing.
Abdul, who recently helped choreograph a disco number for the show's finalists, definitely showed off her still very nimble footwork during the performance of the up-tempo, Britney-like dance pop tune. But it appeared that despite wearing a headset, Abdul was not singing live. Earlier this season, it was reported that the finalists often lip-synch their group performances at the top of the show, though that seems not to have been the case as the number of contenders has been whittled down.
The former Laker Girl — who, we were told, has sold more than 50 million albums — took the stage in a daringly short black-and-silver mini-dress, fending off the flashbulbs of paparazzi photographers as she posed at the top of the glowing staircase. Her vocals heavily Auto-Tuned, Abdul sashayed down the steps as a group of young male dancers caressed her hands and helped her down the incline.
Mouthing the vocals, "I'm just here for the music/ I really didn't mean to turn you on/ Boy, you know I like the way you move it," Abdul tossed off some of her signature hip-swiveling kicks and head rolls as the male dancers lifted her up and helped her move across the fog-shrouded stage. At one point, in addition to her headset microphone, Abdul was also mouthing the words into a bouncing, bejeweled microphone.
As one of the dancers held up and then ripped in half a prize-fight-style tabloid cover pitting Abdul against frequent sparring partner Simon Cowell, the singer writhed on the floor in the background as fabric "flames" shot up around her. The routine ended with Abdul diving into the outstretched arms of six dancers, then being flipped over by one of them while a rain of sparks showered the stage.
As the paparazzi dancers surrounded her again and asked, "Will you going to be back next season?," Abdul's mic appeared to switch on. She breathed heavily and answered, "Gentlemen, I'm just here for the music. Good night!" She then walked off as the stage lit up with the message, "Live! Love! Sing! Dance!"
According to Entertainment Weekly, the song is reportedly a remake of a leaked, but never-released tune from Kylie Minogue's 2003 Body Language album. A spokesperson for "Idol" did not return requests for comment on whether Abdul was singing live during the segment, which EW said had been pretaped.
Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' "American Idol" page, where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.