On the April 29th show, Abdul told contestant Jason Castro she didn’t like his second performance, even though Castro sang one song. An awkward moment followed, with the other judges and host Ryan Seacrest trying to rescue Abdul from embarrassment.

Abdul’s inconsistent behavior has made for tabloid fodder, and the incident was quickly attributed to the judge’s personality. But when Abdul was interviewed on the radio the next morning, she said she had seen Castro sing at the dress rehearsal two hours before the broadcast and mixed up the two performances.

All of a sudden, the sanctity of “American Idol” was in doubt.

“The issue raises questions about the credibility of the show … ,” the New York Times said. Entertainment Weekly critic Michael Slezak suggested that the gaffe could mean the judges are even given scripted comments to recite about the contestants, the Times reported.

An executive producer of “American Idol” vehemently denied the accusation. Still, there is further evidence the judges get advance notice of the performances.

Abdul made a similar comment in a previous episode, telling contestant Michael Johns that his live performance version of the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” didn’t match up to the rehearsal, the Times noted. Also, British newspaper The Independent reported last year that judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson watch live feeds of the rehearsal to “give themselves an idea of what comments they will make when the show goes live.”

Could “American Idol” be – gulp – a television show?

The awkward moment-slash-smoking gun occurred after a “tight” show required a switch in the judges’ format and they held their appraisals until every contestant had a turn. Judges usually give feedback to the contestants after each performance. This time they took notes.

“Oh gosh, we’ve never had to write these things down … fast enough,” a visibly flustered Abdul said, shuffling through her notecards. “Jason, first song, I loved hearing your lower register, which we never really hear, um … .”

And then the jig was up.

“The second song, I felt like your usual charm wasn’t – it was missing for me. it kind of left me a little empty.”

The contestants stared back blankly.

This is not the first time Abdul has been involved in an “Idol” scandal. She was alleged to have a sexual relationship with a contestant. Much like all “Idol” scandals, the allegation fueled ratings and Abdul remained on the show – after television network Fox did a “thorough” investigation, of course.