American Idol's Paula Abdul "shocked" about Sundance's elimination
While no one was terribly surprised with Antonella Barba's leaving American Idol last week, many were stunned by Jason "Sundance" Head's elimination, including the judges.

"I was openly shocked with Sundance leaving," says Abdul, who thought he had a chance to win. "It breaks my heart."

The American Idol judge says she understands the appeal of Sanjaya Malakar to "parents and young girls," and that Sanjaya is certainly talented, with a "smooth older-than-his-years tone."

But Abdul believes fervently that "experience-wise, vocally, there was no comparison" between Malakar and Sundance. The viewers clearly felt differently, voting Sundance out and keeping Sanjaya around, at least for the moment.

On the results show last week, Abdul said she was "speechless. This is a singing competition, and Sundance, you've been one of our finest."

She's not alone. Simon Cowell is not at all fond of Malakar, and jokingly threatened to leave the show if Malakar wins American Idol. "He's not going to win. I won't be back if he does!"

Paula Abdul is a little more polite in her criticism than Simon Cowell usually is, and says she often worries about what she's going to say when she doesn't like a performance, wanting to let the contestants "leave with a little bit of dignity and grace."

She sympathizes with Antonella Barba, saying she's seen pictures of herself that are clearly photo-manipulations of her head on another body.

"I can't imagine how it feels for someone who's not used to it."

"I have the hardest job," she says. She continues to deny allegations that she has a drinking problem, saying most of the rumours stem from technical difficulties in a satellite interview gone wrong at the beginning of the current season.

"I've never been drunk in my whole life. I don't do recreational drugs," she says. "I'm the squarest dork there is."

-Mel Harris, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

Source: Entertainment Weekly
Photo courtesy of IMDB