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American Idol Judge Paula Adbul: "We Couldn't Let Matt Go"

USMagazine, Thursday, April 16, 2009, 10:54am (PDT)
  • American Idol judge Paula Abdul has no regrets about saving contestant Matt Giraud on Wednesday's shocking show.

    When he sang an encore of Bryan Adams' "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman," "Simon was pulling my dress to make me sit down," Abdul said on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show Thursday. "I said, 'No way! What's your problem?'"

    Abdul said Cowell had "trepidation" about using the judges one-time power to save Giraud from elimination after viewers voted him off.

    "For a minute there, I thought we were going to have to duke it out," she said. "We couldn't let Matt go."

    See the weight ups and downs of former Idol contestants

    "It was so frustrating and nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time," she added.

    When Cowell told Giraud he was safe, the 23-year-old piano player from Kalamazoo, Mich. cried in relief as the other contestants hugged him.

    "Wasn't it amazing?" Abdul recalled of the moment. "The entire sound stage started clapping and changing 'Save, save!' It was almost like a finale, a sporting event. It was so exciting."

    See which former Idol stars have gotten married or have had children

    Despite the excitement, Cowell didn't seem to think Giraud should celebrate too much. "I don't see that you have really any chance of winning," he told him.

    "That's such a great thing to say?" Abdul sarcastically quipped.

    Asked if Cowell's remarks could actually help Giraud in the end (because viewers may feel sorry for him), Abdul said, "It can work either way."

    See the worst Idol contestants of all time

    During the interview, Abdul also revealed that Cowell recently made a request to have better lighting on him during the show.

    "It's absolutely true," she said.

    Check out Paula's worst outfits of all time

    To show how vain Cowell can he, she then brought up Susan Boyle, the YouTube Scottish singing sensation from Britain's Got Talent TV show.

    "He's not speaking about the woman," Abdul said. "He's saying, 'Didn't I look good in [the video]?'"

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