During Monday’s live episode of American Idol, Paula Abdul called Simon Cowell an “STD”.
Abdul was filling in for Luke Bryan, who was diagnosed with COVID, when she blurted out the statement. At the time, Abdul was Facetiming with fellow original Idol judge, Randy Jackson, when he said, “Miss Paula Abdul, it feels like old times, right?”
Abdul then responded, “Yes, it does, we’re just missing the STD.”
Seacrest laughed, “The– the what?”
Abdul quickly replied, “The super talented debonair!”
Abdul then turned to Katy Perry and Lionel Richie and said quietly, “I can’t believe I said that.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Bryan Announced His COVID Diagnosis on Monday
On Monday morning, Luke Bryan announced his COVID diagnosis on social media. He tweeted, “I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @AmericanIdol show… I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.”
The Idol Twitter account subsequently updated fans, letting them know Bryan was quarantining at home and that they “wished him a speedy recovery.”
As the Associated Press pointed out, Bryan was also scheduled to be involved in the Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS on Sunday, but that his appearance was “scuttled.”
Monday Night’s Shocking Episode of ‘Idol’
Bryan’s absence wasn’t the only bombshell dropped during Monday night’s episode.
Viewers learned that contestant Wyatt Pike, who some say was a frontrunner to win the entire season, also dropped out unexpectedly. While Ryan Seacrest didn’t offer any details about Pike, a statement later revealed that he left for “personal reasons.”
Last night, the following people were eliminated from the competitions: Colin Jamieson, Alanis Sophia, and Graham DeFranco.
That leaves Casey Bishop, Deshawn Goncalves, Cassandra Coleman, Caleb Kennedy, Madison Watkins, Ava August, Chayce Beckham, Alyssa Wray, Willie Spence, Grace Kinstler, and Hunter Metts.
The other bombshell that was dropped was a new twist: ten contestants from the previous season will be invited back to fight for a spot in the top ten.
Those vying for a spot include Faith Becnel, Franklin Boone, DeWayne Crocker Jr., Gretzinger & Chandler, Cyniah Elise, Arthur Gunn, Aliana Jester, Louis Knight, Nick Merico, Makayla Philips, and Olivia Ximines.
In an interview with Billboard, executive producer and showrunner Trish Kinane shared, “We pivoted pretty quickly to remote production last year because we had to. When it became apparent that things were going to be a bit better this year and that we were going to be able to return to the Television City studio with the big lights, we thought about last year’s contestants. They did so well with the remote production, with their mums and dads helping them and their brothers and sisters holding iPhones and ring lights, but they never had the proper Idol experience. Some people really come alive on that big stage. We thought they deserved to have that experience.”
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays on ABC at 8pm ET.