Paula Abdul is going to return to "American Idol" on Wednesday night, according to a People magazine report. The loopy love bucket will appear for the Simon Cowell sendoff, along with a few other "Idol" alums. Abdul left after last season, and she was replaced by Ellen DeGeneres.
Wednesday night is also the season finale, when either Crystal Bowesox or Lee DeWyze will be named the winner; but the Cowell farewell seems like the bigger milestone. Cowell is the reason “American Idol” has become so much more than just another talent show since its first season. He instantly made the role of talent judge into something we could all identify with -- honest, uncompromising, and yes, a little mean. In an entertainment business overstuffed with positive promotional fluff and false compliments, Cowell has been refreshing.
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ContributorsMatthew Gilbert is the Globe's TV critic.
Sarah Rodman is a staff TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.