Paula Abdul, who shares judging duties on Fox?s hit talent show American Idol, has signed a deal to remain for another three years, the network announced in Los Angeles. She and judge Simon Cowell are known for their bickering on the program, which is drawing bigger audiences than ever in its fifth series. While Cowell often slams contestants, Abdul takes a gentler approach in her comments. The contestants ?truly inspire and amaze me each week,? Abdul said. ?Of course, I also look forward to putting Simon in his place for years to come.? Cowell and Fox reached a deal in November that will keep the British record executive and TV producer on the show for at least five more seasons. American Idol is paring the finalists down to the winner, who will be announced on the May 24 finale. This week, the field was to be reduced to nine after another contestant was voted off.
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