HomeAmerican EntertainmentMusic‘American Idol’: Paula Abdul Gets Emotional Watching Past Contestants Return for Reunion Episode

‘American Idol’: Paula Abdul Gets Emotional Watching Past Contestants Return for Reunion Episode

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

During the “American Idol” 20th season reunion episode on Monday (May 2nd), the audience saw that former judge Paula Abdul became emotional as past contestants took to the stage to perform. 

According to DailyMail, Paula Abdul was seen fighting back tears when she reunited with former “American Idol” contestants. But before that, Ryan Seacrest and the current judges, Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry had a few laughs. Upon returning from a commercial break, Richie and Bryan approached Seacrest to let him know that there were people sitting in their judge’s seats. 

“The lady said she was here first and the guy said something about a dog,” Bryan declared. And Ryan introduced the duo who tooth seats. “Hold on a second. It’s Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul. It all makes sense now.”

Following the adorable introduction, the former and current judges got together for one big hug. “One big happy ‘Idol’ family,” Seacrest declared. He also pointed out there was an extra seat available in case anybody else wants to show up (referring to absent Simon Cowell).

Seacrest went on to ask Paula Abdul what it was like to be a part of the “American Idol” legacy. She answered, “Well, I’m most proud, most humbled by having an experience of a lifetime and being able to see it continue to grow and do well and to see …like, I’m crying seeing all the contestants, who are like my babies. Babies! Babies! It’s beautiful.”

Later in the episode, Paula Abdul told “American Idol” winners Jordin Sparks and Ruben Studdard,  “Know what’s crazy? I remember like it was yesterday. You walk into the room to audition. Oh, my God. This is like…”

“Are you crying, Paula?” Current “American Idol” judge Katy Perry asked. Paula Abdul then answered, “I’m trying not to.”

Paula Abdul Revealed She Quit ‘American Idol’ Eight Times 

During a 2016 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Paula Abdul revealed she actually quit “American Idol” 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.’”

Paula Abdul then shared that she felt terrible for the contestants. “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 Abdul was a judge on “American Idol” from 2002 to 2009. She went on to appear as a judge on “The X Factor,” “Live to Dance,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” and “The Masked Dancer.”