Simon Cowell Champions Paula Abdul

Abdul's biggest headache becomes her newest defender

Simon Cowell has picked another "Idol" winner -- this time fellow judge and sparring partner Paula Abdul.

"She'll be fine. She'll be on the show," Cowell told Extra, responding to reports that Abdul was considering leaving hit show "American Idol" in a contract dispute after eight seasons.

"I don't get a lot of say," the famously tart-tongued Cowell said on Monday. "I've just made it clear that I want Paula on the show."

If she does return, perhaps Cowell's public embrace will improve the pair's rocky relationship. 

In April, Abdul, 47, revealed that she had quit the show seven times on her first day of work in 2002, due in large part to Cowell's acerbic personality. They have feuded on-air on multiple occasions ever since.

"He's a masterful bully," Abdul has said.

Cowell and "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest have signed new multi-million dollar deals to return to the blockbuster talent competition on Fox.

Seacrest, who will reportedly earn $45 million as part of a new three-year contract, told Extra: "I think as far as I know, you'll see everybody back. I hope so."

But Abdul -- a former pop-star whose judging style is more gush than groan -- has reportedly received no contract renewal offers from "Idol" producers.

As a result of the snub, her manager said Abdul may not return when the new season premieres in January.  

"I find it kind of unconscionable and certainly rude and disrespectful that [Idol production companies Fremantle and 19 Entertainment] haven't stepped up and said what they want to do," the manager, David Sonenberg, told the Los Angeles Times. "She's not a happy camper as a result of what's going on. She's hurt. She's angry."

Abdul also spoke out on the contract dispute over the weekend on Twitter, where a "Keep Paula" campaign has sprouted in support of the "Straight Up" singer, reported.

"I'm actually moved 2 tears upon reading the enormous amount of tweets showing me your kindness, love & undying support. God bless all you! If it weren't for you, this specific time and situation would feel a lot worse! XoP," she tweeted.

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