Paula's Good Bad Publicity

Paula Abdul didn't play chicken with TV critics this time. Unlike last January, she showed up Saturday to address her latest mess. Abdul's discombobulated satellite interviews with Fox TV stations have been a YouTube smash, particularly the one in which she seemed smashed while talking to a Seattle outlet. Seated next to a supportive Simon Cowell Saturday, Abdul still contends she was on the receiving end of technical difficulties that had her hearing voices from both Seattle and San Francisco. "It's so silly. It's hard to explain unless you're in there," Abdul told TV critics packed into a hotel ballroom on the final day of network TV's midseason "press tour. "But it's very simple. I had two different cities in my ear. I was answering questions to -- apparently it didn't make sense to the person who was asking them." Abdul also was swaying on camera and slurring her words. Here's her verbatim explanation: "I had no idea that there were two different cities. So when they started to have technical difficulty, I was holding on, waiting. And I'm in a swivel chair and I'm swiveling and I'm very animated with my hands. And had I known that, you know, it's cropped here and that I'm actually, oh, answering questions. It was very weird, because what you're hearing is not exactly who I was answering questions to. And I was waiting for the glitch to get better."

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