Reunited on Screen
Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell
The former pop star and Britain’s biggest black T-shirt fan first joined forces in 2002 on the set of American Idol’s premiere season. For seven years, the two were judges on the Fox juggernaut, with Cowell taking on the role of the brutally honest critic and Abdul as the compassionate and sympathetic voice of the panel. The “Forever Your Girl” singer left her post in 2009 due to “principle,” she told TV Guide, and the following year, Cowell revealed he was also moving on to launch a U.S. version of his U.K. hit, The X Factor. Ever since, rumor has had it that Abdul—who he mercilessly taunted and flirted with on Idol—would join Cowell on The X Factor’s judging panel, which was finally confirmed this weekend after she was released from a previous contract with CBS. The unlikely pair met up on Sunday to tape the show’s debut episode. Now the question is: What will they do without Ryan Seacrest to mediate?