'American Idol': Twitter Reacts as Paula Abdul Returns as Guest Judge

Monday’s American Idolwas a showstopping episode in so many big ways. Paula Abdul made her return to the judge’s table, while the season kicked off its first live episode, and the competition got cut down to the Top 12!

Abdul made her Idol return after Luke Bryan tested positive for COVID-19, which the country crooner revealed Monday morning.

As Abdul reunited with host Ryan Seacrest, she also reconnected with her former Idol co-star Randy Jackson over FaceTime.

Seacrest held up a tablet for Abdul to chat with Jackson, who said, “It feels like old times, doesn’t it?”

“Yes it does. We’re just missing the STD!” Abdul replied, referring to their former fellow judge Simon Cowell, leaving Seacrest legitimately baffled.

“The what?!” Seacrest asked, not sure how to react. Abdul quickly came up with an attempt to save the moment, and joked that she meant it as an acronym for “Super talented, debonair.” 

Coupled with the fact that Abdul also referred to Cowell as a “grandfather” at one point, fans were quick to jump online and celebrate the return of the unpredictable and often outspoken judge.

Only Paula Abdul can work in “We’re missing the STD” on a family show on ABC #AmericanIdol I miss Paula, Randy and Simon. pic.twitter.com/DZmPrNeRdL

paula abdul is a guest judge on american idol tonight and she just referred to simon cowell as "the STD" help-

"WHAT DID YOUR MOTHERS BREAST-FEED YOU?!" is exactly the kind of @PaulaAbdul feedback I needed on #AmericanIdol tonight.

Paula Abdul just called Simon Cowell an STD on live television and my serotonin reached 2005 levels for a very short period of time

It has been great seeing @PaulaAbdul back on @AmericanIdol tonight:) I liked the sensitivity with some of the comments & she looks fabulous!

I love her but my fave Idol moment of all time will always be when Paula started talking about someone’s second performance when they’d only done the first

Lol @PaulaAbdul calling @SimonCowell a std🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ crazyyy lady you're on live TV. @AmericanIdol wasn't ready for that 🤣 #AmericanIdol


Paula was talking about Simon Cowell. Then she said “I can’t believe i said that”

Paula, we heard you say worse years ago. Lol

i live for paula abdul calling simon cowell a STD on live television on a family show!!! thanks paula #paulasback#AmericanIdol

Meanwhile, the competition itself got cut rather dramatically during Monday’s live episode, in which the Top 16 were whittled down to the Top 12.

At the top of the show, it was revealed that Wyatt Pike had to drop out of the competition due to unspecified personal reasons, meaning only 15 singers would be fighting it out for the slots. The 10 singers who got the most votes were told that they were safe and would be moving on, however the bottom five were told they were in the danger zone, and would be singing to try and get saved by the judges.

Here’s who made it into the Top 12 on Monday’s episode, and the song they sang for America’s next big vote:

Casey Bishop — “House Of The Rising Sun” by The Animals.


Deshawn Goncalves — “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder.


Cassandra Coleman — “Light On” by Maggie Rogers.


Caleb Kennedy — “Nowhere,” original song.


Ava August — “Love Of My Life” by Queen.


Chayce Beckham — “What Brings Life Also Kills” by Kolton Moore & The Clever Few.


Alyssa Wray — “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston.


Willie Spence — “Diamonds” by Rihanna.


Grace Kinstler — “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande.


Hunter Metts — “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt.


And the saved singers were:

Madison Watkins — “Hotline Bling” by Drake.


Beane — “Grow As We Go” by Ben Platt.


This means, apart from Pike, the Idol journey has also come to an end for Alanis Sophia, Colin Jamieson and Graham DeFranco.

American Idolairs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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