Known primarily as a music video choreographer and pop star of the late 1980s, Paula Abdul would later enjoy triumphant career resurgence as a judge on the phenomenally popular reality talent show, "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ). But years before she could make aspiring singer's dreams come true, Abdul was a key figure in the 1980s music video world for her choreography work with Janet Jackson among others. She would parlay her role as a high profile dancer into a brief music career where her fun, poppy R&B-tinged singles and electric concert performances earned comparisons to Jackson and Madonna. At the peak of her popularity, Abdul was continually criticized for her fluctuating weight and her limited vocal range, and when her style was eclipsed by harder grunge rock in the early 1990s, she faded into obscurity. Or so the naysayers believed. Proving them all wrong, in 2002, Abdul was cast on "American Idol" in the obligatory role of "overly kind" judge alongside the abrasive Simon Cowell and the bland Randy Jackson. Her earlier "nice girl" veneer, however, soon gave way to controversy amid Abdul's loopy behavior, allegations of inappropriate contact with a male "Idol" contestant, and her dramatic and unexpected departure from one of the most popular TV series on television.