Paula Abdul’s manager David Sonenberg told the Los Angeles Times that “it does not appear that [Paula’s] going to be back on Idol” next season because the singer and judge hadn’t yet received a new contract from FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, the production companies behind the show. Auditions for season 9 of the show begin Aug. 6 and, if Abdul were to be involved this season, her deal would need to be locked by then. “I find it under these circumstances particularly unusual; I think unnecessarily hurtful,” Sonenberg continued in the interview. “I find it kind of unconscionable and certainly rude and disrespectful that they haven’t stepped up and said what they want to do.” Sonenberg began managing Abdul at the end of June and said he has reached out to 19 Entertainment and told Fox that “Paula would love to be on the show” but, supposedly, he has not received any proposal.
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest just signed a three-year deal to stay with the show that was reportedly worth $45 million. Abdul’s decision to go public with contract grievances, especially in light of Seacrest’s big payday bump, could be interpreted as just part of the negotiation game. Representatives for Fremantle, 19, and Fox all separately declined to comment to the Los Angeles Times.