What New Scandal Will New 'Idol' Season Bring?

But, he added, ultimately these sort of scandals affect voting, given the large number of young voters watching the show. Barba found that out, when she was eliminated before making it to the Top 12.

Mario Vasquez:

Vasquez's abrupt departure from Season 4 of "Idol" left fans speculating. When he dropped out of the finals in March 2005, he cited "personal reasons."

Two years later, it became apparent why. That's when a male "Idol" employee filed a lawsuit alleging that Vasquez had sexually harassed him while he was a contestant on the show. In the suit, former employee Magdaleno Olmos alleged that Vasquez followed him into a bathroom stall, touched him inappropriately and made advances toward him.

Paula Abdul's Antics

Olmos also claimed that he was fired in May 2005 after he complained about Vasquez. In addition to suing Vasquez, he named Fox Entertainment and the show's production company as defendants.

Paula Abdul:

Abdul is no stranger to controversy. Remember Corey Clark? But last season when she commented on a performance that had not yet taken place, fans unleashed a flurry of negative e-mails and the show's credibility was again called into question.

Abdul was giving Jason Castro a negative review of his two songs. Only problem was he had only performed one. Later, she explained that she had gotten confused, amid last-minute show-procedure changes.

And recently she told Barbara Walters that Cowell's pestering her off camera also throws her off, making her appear flighty.

Hibberd said Abdul's antics, including her recent negative comments about the show, keep the show in the headlines.

"Paula adds an X factor to 'Idol,'" he said. "People don't know what she will do next. It helps the show. At the end of the day the entertainment value she brings, the network sees it as more beneficial."

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