5 Facts About Paula Abdul: Original Queen of ‘American Idol’

Samantha Agate
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Paula Abdul, one of the most popular singers and dancers of the 80s, hasn’t slowed down since she danced into our lives. The former American Idol judge sat on the panel on season one of The Masked Dancer and even stepped in for Luke Bryan this past season on Idol.


Paula has not only dominated the music charts, but knows a thing or two about dancing. Let’s take a deep dive and get to know a little more about one of the world’s most favorite talent competition judges of all time.

5 Facts About ‘The Masked Dancer,’ ‘Idol’ Judge Paula Abdul

1. She Choreographed For The Jackson Family

Paula had auditioned for the Los Angeles Lakers dance squad when she was just 18 years old and caught the eyes of the Jacksons. They hired her to choreograph their music video for the song “Torture.” While Michael Jackson did not take part in this particular video, Paula’s celebrity choreographer status was on the rise. She was hired to work with them on their 1984 Victory Tour.

“I was 18 years old and I got to see entertainment at its finest. [I learned that] you’re only as good as the last thing you’ve done. He was just amazing” Paula said about working with Michael. She went on to choreograph the music videos for some of Janet Jackson’s biggest hits like “What Have You Done for Me Lately,” “Nasty” and “Control.”


SEE ALSO: ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ CONTESTANT SINGS CREEPY STALKER SONG TO PAULA ABDUL [VIDEO]

2. Paula Has Served As A Judge On Multiple Talent Competition Shows

In 2002, Paula became one of the judges on American Idol joining Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. Paula definitely became known as the nice judge especially when Simon could be super harsh sometimes. Initially, it was believed that Paula was leaving American Idol in 2009 over a money dispute with the network. Others said it was because she felt undervalued and disrespected by some of the experiences she had on the show.

Paula became the lead judge of the show Live to Dance which was only around for one season in 2011. She also became a judge on the American and Australian versions of So You Think You Can Dance. Paula joined Simon on a judging panel once more when she joined season one of The X Factor in 2011. Needless to say, she has had plenty of prior judging experience coming onto The Masked Dancer.


3. She Was Always Shooting Down Relationship Rumors With Simon Cowell

While working with Simon on American Idol, the pair were always fueling relationship rumors. They had a flirty banter on the show and even shared a few kisses. They bickered just like an old married couple and it was clear there was some kind of mutual attraction between them. “Oh no! No! Ew, no!” she said when asked if she was romantically involved with Simon on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.

But Simon has definitely had a different perspective on his relationship with Paula. In a 2011 interview with Barbara Walters, Simon said there was “sexual tension on her part.” He said that this was the reason they were always butting heads with each other on American Idol but he did consider being in a real relationship with her.

SEE ALSO: PAULA ABDUL TALKS ABOUT THE CHEMISTRY SHE HAD WITH SIMON COWELL DURING ‘AMERICAN IDOL’

4. She Made An Epic Return At The 2019 Billboard Music Awards

Paula did her first awards performance in 29 years at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. She mesmerized everyone at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with a medley of “Straight Up,” “The Way You Love Me,” “Vibeology,” “Opposites Attract,” “Cold Hearted” and “Forever Your Girl.” It was a performance full of intricate dancing and confetti showered down on the crowd at the end. That same day she announced her Paula Abdul: Forever Your Girl residency at Flamingo Las Vegas.

5.Paula Has Been Dancing A Lot During Quarantine

Everyone has been finding ways to keep themselves busy during quarantine. Paula has been dancing up a storm with Steezy Studio’s online dance tutorials. “I’ve been taking tap lessons and it’s been great!” she told Yahoo Life. “I like to hit mute on the television when it’s a commercial and turn these on. I dance until the commercials are done.”

“There’s times when I don’t want to do it, and it’s just pushing myself—’Just do it. Do something!‘ I always feel better afterwards” she said. That’s probably why the 58-year-old is in incredible shape.

SEE ALSO: MEET ALL 10 CHARACTERS ON THE NEW FOX SHOW ‘THE MASKED DANCER’

The Masked Dancer has not yet been renewed for Season 2, and there is no indication whether The Masked Singer spin-off will return or not. Our fingers are crossed we’ll see more of Paula if the show is renewed!

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