Paula Abdul quit 'American Idol' eight times - on her first day.

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

The 'Straight Up' singer - who was an original judge on the talent show alongside Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson - felt so uncomfortable critiquing the aspiring singers, she wasn't sure it was the job for her.

She said: "A few years ago, this man came up to me and introduced himself and said, 'I was your sound guy on your first day at work at American Idol.' And I said, 'Oh wow. I feel bad, I must have quit a few times.' And he said, 'Eight. You quit eight times.'

"I felt terrible for those kids. I would try to maintain composure in the midst of absurdity and they were completely delusional, like brilliantly delusional.

"But there was never a shortage of really incredible voices and raw talent. We were always able to find it, and that's what was so exciting."

The 53-year-old singer quit 'Idol' 2009, both for the sake of her own career outside of the programme, but also because it "didn't feel like the same show" as when she started.

She told Entertainment Weekly magazine: "The truth is, it was time for me to leave. I'd never had the same job for eight years. I felt that there were changes happening, and it didn't feel like the same show.

"I needed to go back and do things I wanted to do, and being in that contract with the show didn't allow me to do many things.

"It was a bold decision to make, but I will always have tremendous gratitude because it was a tremendous experience for me. I was a big part of history.

"And the show did change when I left. I would say to Simon, 'You know the show ended when I left. You were still there for almost two more years.' He'd say, 'Oh, shut up.' But it's true!"

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