Television

Paula's 'Idol' Confusion

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It was a hectic night on "American Idol," with the final five each crooning two Neil Diamond songs. Instead of the usual format, in which the judges critique each hopeful after their performance, Randy, Paula and Simon were asked to take notes during performances and offer their opinions at the end of each round. The new format threw off Paula Abdul -- she critiqued both songs from Jason Castro -- even though he had only sung one!

"The second song, I felt like your usual charm wasn't -- it was missing for me. It kind of left me a little empty," says Abdul, "the two songs made me feel like you're not fighting hard enough to get into the top four."

Randy Jackson cleared up the confusion by reminding Paula that Castro had only sung once. Even judge Simon Cowell, who had his usual harsh critiques for the aspiring Idols, admitted that the new format had also thrown him for a loop. "This was officially the strangest show we've ever done," Cowell said at the end of the show, "but I like that. It's kind of a bit chaotic tonight."

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