Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul

Michael Becker / FOX

Is it just us or is this year's Idol way different than last year's? We're not just talkin' about the addition of fourth judge Kara DioGuardi (not yet, anyway). Last year, gay strip-club dancer David Hernandez was ousted too early (and wrongly), and now sometimes drag queen Adam Lambert is a friggin' frontrunner!

But the biggest change of all: Paula's acting comprehensibly for once! Holy crap. She's actually doling out valid criticism instead of critiquing songs that haven't been sung yet, and she's engaging Simon's silly side instead of getting riled up by the Brit's bastard behavior.

What the ef's going on?

One Idol insider tells us exactly what's changed with our fave formerly foggy-headed femme:

The reason for P's newly found focus? "They're regulating her input."

Input of what? Diet Coke? Snickers bars? What could they possibly mean?

Said Idol higher-up wouldn't budge as to what exactly that was referring to, but he was smiling when he delivered the info. Regardless, whatever Paula's doin' (or not), it's workin' for us, as well as for Idol execs who like this sassy Ab-doll instead of the slurring trainwreck of seasons past.

Is Paula, gasp, even smarter than we think? Looks like it, since we've heard word that babe's contract is up this year, and saving her job from being filled by the younger, hotter Kara requires she screw her head back on right.

'Course, as long as P.A. continues wearing the wackiest and weirdest outfits she can find, we'll always want her around.

—Additional reporting by Becky Bain

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share