We know, we know—Paula Abdul was famous before American Idol. In fact, she was the best-known name on the judges’ panel when the musical competition show debuted in 2002. Abdul quickly became known for her way-too-positive comments, and, as seasons went on, her self-medication. The Grammy-winning singer and dancer eventually left AI after the eighth season.
After a few non-starters, she took another reality role with her pal Simon Cowell on his new show, The X Factor. She left after just one season, and other than a guest judging stint on Dancing With the Stars, has steered clear of reality TV. She may have been a too-obvious foil for Cowell, but we have to admit, we miss that hot mess. Wouldn’t Idol be a lot more interesting if more people were drunk? Come back, Paula!