Paula Abdul Shines As Breakout Star on ‘VH1 Divas Live’

So last night, VH1’s christening of the next generation’s pop primadonnas took shape as Divas Live. However, I missed the “live” part of the broadcast as I was off doing more important things at a bar in some part of Manhattan that probably should be called NoChita because Little Italy basically doesn’t exist anymore (by the by, happy birthday Foster!) Luckily, the magic of the internet makes it possible for me to immediately witness all of last night’s defining moments. Some were terrible, like Miley Cyrus sneezing her way through a duet with Sheryl Crow on the latter’s “If It Makes You Happy,” and Jordin Sparks singing a song that is not “Battlefield” even though that is the only song by her any of us remotely care about. But there were a few brilliant moments too, apparently. Like Cyndi Lauper and Leona Lewis (I know, right!?), Kelly Clarkson, solo and with Melissa Etheridge. But the most pleasantly surprising part? Paula Abdul’s comeback coup.

Maybe it was the strain and pressure of a daily obligation like American Idol (or the constant bullying by one of her co-hosts) that curbed Abdul’s potential and transformed her into such a pill-popping punchline, but last night she was in top form. Glowing, in fact. Leaving Idol may have been the best career hiccup to happen to Abdul because at Divas Live, she exuded wit and moxie, both which somehow eluded her in the many years past. Not only did her shtick involve a gentle ribbing at her replacement, but it involved witty banter with a D-lister (how fitting for an event with so many non-divas) and an icon.

But first, her opening monologue:

Uncomfortable banter with Kathy Griffin:

A chat with Liza Minnelli:

Kathy Griffin Tickets

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