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James Hibberd

'Idol' Panel

January 20, 2007 9:01 PM

On the TCA stage, Paula Abdul is drooling and slurring her words.

She’s mumbling something about yetis and spatulas, hanging on an annoyed Simon Cowell, kissing the side of his face.

Ryan Seacrest looks on at her affection, disgusted, yet oddly fascinated.

All right … fine. So none of that actually happened.

The 'Idol' crew are professional and Simon vigorously defends Paula’s much-discussed behavior. He takes the blame for the team being late. She does kiss him, but it’s only a peck.

After the panel, a dozen reporters swarm Simon. A dozen swarm Paula. Randy Jackson, the nice Beatle, gets just one reporter. I feel sorry for Randy. Sort of.

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