‘The X Factor’s Paula Abdul On Simon Cowell: ‘I Really Missed Him’

by | May 9, 2011 at 6:58 AM | American Idol, RealityTV, The X-Factor, TV News

Reunited…and it feels so good!

An eleventh hour deal has brought Paula Abdul back to judges table – this time teaming up with “American Idol” pal Simon Cowell for the US version of “The X Factor.”

“I’ve really missed him,” the petite pop star gushed Sunday before the first day of live auditions in Los Angeles.  “It’s been a while. It’s awkward and wonderful and beautiful at the same time. I have no idea what to expect.

Abdul’s name had been bantered around for months – but negotiations weren’t completed until late Friday night, Cowell says.
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We caught up with TV’s dynamic duo moments before they kicked off their search for America’s next big superstar.

PAULA ABDUL

How excited are you to be back working with Simon?
I am thrilled. I am beyond trilled. I am exhilarated. I am terrified…of Simon. When the show airs it will have been tree years since we sat next to each other….I’ve really missed him. It’s been a while. It’s awkward and wonderful and beautiful at the same time. I have no idea what to expect.

Have you guys moved on from the bickering?
I don’t know that that’s even possible.

What do you think of the drama and speculation surrounding your return?
You know, I’m here. Only Simon and I would understand.

Will America see the same Paula we have come to know and love?
I am who I am, that’s all I can say. I don’t try to be or become anyone else. I am passionate. I get to do what I love to do. I have mentored and sought out talent for the past 20 plus years and this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

SIMON COWELL

What took so long to get Paula on board?
I don’t know.  Lawyers.  It wasn’t anything that difficult to resolve.  It is money as aleayss.  Nothing unreasonable. But I said to somebody earlier on, that I kind of admired the fact that at the eleventh hour, she was prepared to play a little hardball.  An that is one of the reasons that she has survived so long in Hollywood.  She is a tough little (one)

What are you looking forward to most about working with her again?
She is unpredictable.  You can see there is a lot of affection there with the two of us.  I am very comfortable with her.  And she is funny.  I think she is going to feel a lot of pressure because there is a lot at stake here.  And I think, you know… I missed her when she left Idol.  I was always very clear about that.  I want to see her when we were really happy.  Which was probably in the middle of Idol.  Season four or five or something.  And I would like to get back to those times again.

What will the seating arrangement be?  Will you sit next to Paula or will you be in the middle of the ladies?
Like a sandwich?  Maybe a sandwich.  Or a bun as we call them.
Did you call Paula directly about this?
When I came over a few weeks ago, I was meeting people and the problem is everyone I met, I liked. And then Paula came up to my house one afternoon and I have got to be honest with you, the second she walked in the door she looked terrific.  She had a real energy about her.  And I mentally went “you have got the job.”. As soon as she walked in,  she was different,  something about her.  And if it was anyone else new, who behaved the same way, they would have got the job as well.  We are comfortable together.