Paula Abdul is opening up about her first day on the set of American Idol back in 2002 and how she tried to quit the show eight times.
“A few years ago, this man came up to me and introduced himself and said, ‘I was your sound guy on your first day at work at American Idol.’ And I said, ‘Oh wow. I feel bad, I must have quit a few times.’ And he said ‘Eight. You quit eight times,’” the 53-year-old former judge to Entertainment Weekly.
“I felt terrible for those kids,” Paula said about the bad auditions. “I would try to maintain composure in the midst of absurdity and they were completely delusional, like brilliantly delusional. But there was never a shortage of really incredible voices and raw talent. We were always able to find it, and that’s what was so exciting.”
Paula also discussed what led to her decision to leave the show.
“The truth is, it was time for me to leave. I’d never had the same job for eight years. I felt that there were changes happening, and it didn’t feel like the same show,” Paula said. “I needed to go back and do things I wanted to do, and being in that contract with the show didn’t allow me to do many things. It was a bold decision to make, but I will always have tremendous gratitude because it was a tremendous experience for me. I was a big part of history. And the show did change when I left. I would say to Simon, ‘You know the show ended when I left. You were still there for almost two more years.’ He’d say, ‘Oh, shut up.’But it’s true!”