Paula Abdul gets testy with David Letterman

Sep 21, 2011 at 2:15 p.m. ET

Paula Abdul defended The X-Factor to David Letterman last night.

Paula Abdul

There has been a special brand of eccentricity missing from television this year: Paula Abdul. Now the talent judge is back and reteaming with her nemesis/true love Simon Cowell on The X-Factor -- but she had to set a certain someone straight that it isn't a ripoff of another popular talent show.

Abdul went on The Late Show to promote The X-Factor but had to put David Letterman in his place when he called it a carbon copy of American Idol.

"How is it not?" Letterman said, as Paula rolled her eyes. "You have Simon, and you, and then a guy who looks exactly like Randy Jackson [LA Reid] ... you go places -- you go to church basements and rotary clubs -- you get kids out, you get grownups out ... you get 'em to Hollywood and you have a weekly competition where the viewers gets to vote who will return."

"Now, tell me: How is that not American Idol?" Letterman asked.

"Can I talk?" asked Paula after an uncomfortable silence. "I feel like you're Simon Cowell reincarnated right now."

"Let me tell you something, if you let me talk for one second, mister, I'll start with the least significant part: $5 million recording contract. It's no big deal. $5 million. Never been done before," she said.

"What do they get on the American Idol?" Letterman asked. "Don't they get something on the American Idol?"

Paula rolled her eyes again. "Um, you know, $1 million."

"So the money's a little better on your show," said Letterman.

"A lot better," retorted Paula. "I mean, that doesn't exist."

"And they get to sit on Simon Cowell's lap," joked Letterman.

"I'll tell you what," Paula said, It's not all it's cracked up to be!"

The X-Factor premieres tonight on Fox.

Watch Paula Abdul on The Late Show with David Letterman:


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