She isn't forever our girl
Like millions of Americans, I sit here, transfixed by "American Idol." Am I addicted to Southern-fried bluesmeister Bo Bice? The sugar-and-spice sex appeal of country crooner Carrie? The surly snarkitude of Simon? The smooth-as-Spandex posturings...
Like millions of Americans, I sit here, transfixed by "American Idol."
Am I addicted to Southern-fried bluesmeister Bo Bice? The sugar-and-spice sex appeal of country crooner Carrie? The surly snarkitude of Simon? The smooth-as-Spandex posturings of Ryan Seacrest?
I am watching the train wreck formerly known as Paula Abdul.
I know, I know. Paula is suffering from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a chronic neuropathic disorder that causes severe pain. To make matters worse, her life has been caught in a revolving door of drama: a serious cheerleading accident, a couple of car accidents, a battle with an eating disorder, an emergency plane landing in 1992, strange medical treatments such as live leech therapy, a hit-and-run charge and - most embarrassing of all - a marriage to "Mighty Ducks" star Emilio Estevez.
More recently, allegations arose from former "Idol" contestant Corey Clark that Paula was "Forever His Girl."
Now many have jumped up to defend her, from the kindly attorney who is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so to Simon Scowl himself. Clark has been called an "opportunist" and a "liar," even as "American Idol" producers continue to investigate the matter.
All the while, we have watched Paula slowly melt down, like a sexy ice cube left out in the hot media sun. In one season, she has gone from making fairly astute, always kind observations about contestant's performances to slurring out sentence fragments.
It is a sad thing to witness.
Yes, her bizarre behavior may be the result of chronic pain and drugs. (The side effects listed for her medications, Pamidronate and Enbrel, do include "dizziness" and "swollen throat," although they do not mention "glazed eyes," "slurring like your Aunt Agnes after her second vodka gimlet" or "dancing on chairs.")
Whatever the problem, Paula needs a break. My heart goes out to her if medications to control her chronic pain are indeed the culprit. But if that is the case, she should be recuperating. As Courtney Love can tell you, the media spotlight is not the kindest place to work through personal strife.
And so I'd like to cast my vote, along with the 12,367 other experts on the Internet, for Paula's replacement. Lots of names have been bandied about, including:
- Aforementioned Love. Trading one train wreck for another is never a good idea.
- Kelly Osborne. Enough of the world's most obnoxious family already.
- Charo. As unintelligible as Paula. Why not Roberto Benigni while we're at it?
- Taylor Dayne. Recently remade by VH1, Taylor does possess a powerhouse talent. She doesn't seem like much fun, however.
- Vanilla Ice. He certainly has enough free time, but a judge should actually possess some talent. It's also irritating to hear anyone say "Word" that often.
- My vote would go for 1980s popster, Cyndi Lauper. She's funny, smart and amazingly talented. We haven't seen enough of her lately. And her squeaky-voiced nuttiness would really irritate Simon.
C'mon "Idol" producers, give Cyndi a ring.
We viewers just wanna have fun.
Swift writes a weekly column for The Forum. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org