For someone who says she won’t dignify the allegations against her with a response, Paula Abdul has been doing a lot of responding. First, she sicced her lawyer on ABC, threatening legal action if the network went ahead with its scheduled ”Fallen Idol” exposé on Primetime Live. On the eve of the Primetime broadcast last Wednesday, she called Corey Clark an ”admitted liar” and said he was trying to drum up publicity for his book by claiming she’d secretly coached him and slept with him during the 2003 American Idol competition. On Friday, she issued another statement, thanking fans for their support at a time when she was the target of ”character assassination.” And on Saturday, she appeared as herself on the opening sketch of Saturday Night Live, in another apparent attempt to defuse the controversy.
”All my life, I have been taught to take the high road, and never to dignify salacious or false accusations,” Abdul said on Friday. ”And I have been taught never, never to lie. Not only do I never lie, I never respond to lies, no matter how vicious, no matter how hurtful.” Still, it was impossible to see her SNL appearance as anything but a response to Clark’s claims.
The sketch was a parody of the Primetime report, showing purported excerpts from various American Idol episodes that showed Abdul (played by Amy Poehler) hitting on a variety of male contestants (Clark, Mario Vazquez, Justin Guarini). At the end of the sketch, the real Abdul appeared and gave her critique of each player’s impersonation of the Idol judges. ”I just have three notes: Chris [Parnell], great impression [of Simon Cowell], but you need to wear a pushup T-shirt. Kenan [Thompson, who played Randy Jackson], you need about 14 more ‘dawgs.”’ Then, to Poehler, she said, ”Amy, you need to perfect the clap-o-rama and be a lot more sexier so that contestants will be willing to sleep with you.” The sketch let Abdul have the last word, which was, of course, ”Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”