Paula Abdul Disses Simon Cowell Live on ‘American Idol’

Paula-Abdul-Simon-Cowell-Randy-Jackson-Ryan-Seacrest-American-Idol-Luke-BryanABC/Eric McCandless

Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell have always had a love-hate relationship going back to their beginning on American Idol in 2002. Last night, Abdul returned to the Idol stage filling in for Luke Bryan on the judging panel of Season 19. She had some interesting comments and digs to make about Cowell during the live broadcast.

Paula Abdul Calls Simon Cowell her ‘Grandfather’ on ‘American Idol’

At the beginning of the very first live episode of the season, Ryan Seacrest welcomed Abdul back to the judging panel. Seacrest and Abdul have maintained a great friendship over the years after working on American Idol together. It was certainly a major blast from the past seeing them work together again.


“I’m so excited to be sitting with Katy and Lionel, friends that I adore,” Abdul began. “But for me, if I’m being honest it’s kind of nostalgic. I feel like I’m visiting my little brother on the show that we started with our other brother Randy, and of course, our grandfather.”

Abdul was referring to Cowell, who left the show after the ninth season. Abdul left the show before season eight. The two judges had their fair share of memorable flirty moments and onscreen fights.

The duo even shared several onscreen kisses throughout their time working on American Idol. Abdul’s comment seemed like a playful jab at her former co-star, and it made Seacrest laugh.

Abdul Took it a Step Further with her Comments About Cowell

Seacrest had a mini-reunion up his sleeve when he pulled up former judge Randy Jackson via Skype on his iPad. He was the longest-standing judge on American Idol, judging for 12 seasons. He returned the following season as a mentor to the contestants. His friendship with Abdul spans over 40 years.

“Miss Paula Abdul, it feels like old times, right?” Jackson asked.

“Yes, it does, we’re just missing the STD,” Abdul said, again, referring to Cowell.

“The — the what?” Seacrest said.

“Super talented, debonair,” Abdul quickly responded.

“I can’t believe I said that,” Abdul whispered to the other judges in a moment that was caught on camera.

Although Abdul’s comments may have come across as bizarre to some, her longtime fans took to Twitter to praise her.

“Only Paula Abdul can work in ‘We’re missing the STD’ on a family show on ABC #AmericanIdol I miss Paula, Randy and Simon,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another Twitter user called Abdul’s antics “classic.”

Fans also pointed out how much they missed seeing Abdul on the judging panel. She recently served as a judge on the very first season of The Masked Dancer. The 58-year-old was actually pretty good at guessing the identities of the celebrities underneath the masks and is a lifelong dancer herself.


Do you miss the original American Idol judging panel? Or are you a fan of the new generation of American Idol?


Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is a contributor and host for Talent Recap on YouTube with a previous byline at The Blast. She graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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