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I had the pleasure last night of putting on my “real reporter” hat to attend Taylor Armstrong & Dana Wilkey’s fundraiser to support the 1736 Family Crisis Center. Aside from the obvious points about their philanthropy, I’d like to take this moment to point out how good these Real Housewives look in person. I realize that’s a superficial take on an important evening, but The Dishmaster is admittedly superficial — and I simply couldn’t help myself. Seriously though — it was a great night with some very kind ladies. Armstrong gave a brief speech at the event, joking that the tabloids have done a good job of explaining why she’s involved. Because I’m music-obsessed, my favorite part of the evening came from X Factor finalist Drew Ryniewicz, who sang two original songs. I officially understand why Simon Cowell took such a liking to her. She’s got the kind of potential that will flourish with the right team behind her. I’ve posted one of her X Factor performances below.
To be fair, Paula Abdul was not technically “fired” from X Factor. Her option was not renewed, which in Hollywood is a fancy way of saying that the network doesn’t want someone’s services for the following year. To be “fired,” you’d probably have to bad-mouth a producer (see Charlie Sheen). But the sad fact remains the same — Paula Abdul, whom I love, won’t be returning. And to prove why my love for her is valid, here’s what she said about her departure:
Yes, it’s true; I won’t be returning to The X Factor next season. I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon and I, along with Fox and Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation.
Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine and I’ve treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle. I want nothing more than for The X Factor to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams. This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful.
Goodbye for now, Paula. It’s the end of the Simon/Paula era and it’s mighty sad. But I’m certain she’ll be fine.