Paula Still Working On Deal, Kara Reportedly Back On ‘Idol’

With auditions for the ninth season of “American Idol” kicking off Aug. 6, it’s still not exactly clear which judges will be returning to endure hours of the vocal stylings of the next William Hungs and superstar hopefuls.

Paula Abdul, the mother hen of the judges who’s always ready to share some wacky metaphor in addition to praise for contestants’ outfits, is currently negotiating her contract to take home more dough.

Photo: AP Photo
Paula Abdul arrives at the 2008 CMT Awards, in Nashville, Tenn.

“Abdul’s current annual salary is around $4 million, people close to the show say, and she wants to be higher on the food chain than Seacrest and initially asked for as much as $20 million, although that has since come down to $12 million,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Abdul’s manager David Sonenberg reportedly passed on an offer made last week, according to people involved in the talks.

On Thursday Abdul logged on to her Twitter account to shout out to fans regarding her return to “Idol.”

“Hi everyone. I’ve been quiet as we are trying to work out details of how I can return to Idol,” Abdul wrote.

She then added “Idol” needs to show her the money.

“Your support & encouragement means so much to me. I hope you understand I can only return to Idol if the deal is fair.”

Abdul followed that by writing, “Whatever happens with Idol, I love you guys and am so happy we have this way to stay in touch.” An hour later she wrote “I will give you updates on how things are going, to the extent I can. I know your attention is very powerful & can help a lot.”

Simon Cowell told fans not to worry, that his Little Miss Sunshine sidekick would be back.

“She’ll be fine. She’ll be on the show. I don’t get a lot of say. I’ve just made it clear that I want Paula on the show,” the always opinionated British judge said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the black T-shirt loving Cowell currently makes about $36 million a year and is in talks to up is pay to $45 million a year. Cowell’s current contract doesn’t expire until next season.

E! Online is reporting that new judge/songwriter Kara DioGuardi is set to return for her second season with “Idol.”

“Her deal is done. There are no ifs, ands or buts,” a source said, according to E! Online. “Done. She will be back.”

Judge Randy Jackson’s contract doesn’t expire for a couple more seasons.

Host Ryan Seacrest recently renewed his contract with a deal that works out to $30 million over three years, plus $15 million for merchandising rights to his image, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Which “Idol” judge do you think is worth the big bucks?

Click here for the Los Angeles Times article.

Click here for the San Francisco Chronicle article.

Click here for Paula Abdul’s Twitter account.