Paula Abdul ready to party with gay fans at White Party Palm Springs

I have spoken with people who have worked with you and everyone has told me that you are one of the nicest people in show business. Why is it so important to you to spread kindness in the world?

I am who I am, and I was raised that way. I just hope my mom and dad are smiling. I know they are. They taught me and my sister very important basic things. It doesn’t take a second of your day to be there in front of someone and make eye contact and leave someone feeling heard and respected. I mean, these are things that we were both taught as young girls and to stay grounded in gratitude. So it’s not that it’s important for me to be like this, it’s who I am, and I don’t know how to be otherwise, to be honest with you.

You had that reputation on american idol.

On Idol, it was an interesting double-edged sword. I mean, you could see part of the magic of the chemistry between Simon and me and Randy was the fact that I was the cheerleader and really cheered them on and Randy was like the cool brother. Some things you can’t just craft. It’s just what it is and that’s what I was.

Randy recently gave an interview saying that talent show judges are too nice these days and don’t serve contestants well.

I understand where he’s coming from because he’s basing it on when all three of us were judges, when there would be some debate as to whether we would put anyone in the current group of judges. But see, I think it’s all subjective. Talent is abundant and it’s also subjective, but what we heard live in the studio didn’t always translate to what was on TV. There are a lot of factors that come into play. I think I’m so glad that there are still talent shows that can come out and find the unassuming and unexpected star.

You really changed the format of dance music videos. I wonder if people tell you how you influenced them or if there are young artists telling you how important you are to them.

I’m blessed and grateful to say every day of my life I remember in one form or another how much I changed the trajectory of what popular dance is and how I made it very apparent on MTV when MTV played Music Video. I am remembered because I am constantly teaching again. I still teach thousands of students. I’m going to do intensive summer internships and scholarship programs and I’m constantly surrounded by demographics that start at six and seven, all the way through college. So yeah, it’s been a blessing and a gift that keeps on giving.

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Joseph K. Bennett