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Last week's round of Paula Abdul satellite interviews (we can't decide which we prefer: the perky Seattle duo who kill Abdul with kindness, knowing the longer they keep her there, the worse things will get, or the straightlaced San Francisco interviewer who can barely conceal his utter contempt for her every rocking, slurred, incoherent answer) called for some serious damage control. When a flack's half-assed "press-junket-related exhaustion" excuse didn't seem to do the trick, a seemingly sober (but only somewhat less incoherent) Paula dropped in on Ellen to explain what actually happened:

Paula: I was having a great time. What happened was two cities were in my ear. I had something like Bermingham and Seattle. I'm answering Birmingham's answers but it's airing on Seattle's morning show. [...]

Ellen: Why do you get [that you're drunk] all the time?

Paula: I don't think anyone thinks... that the nice girl has a sense of humor. I make myself laugh, I know that. There's a lot of things that aren't...For instance in that example, no one knows that there were two cities in my ear. It seemed to make sense in one city I'm sure. People like to take potshots at a show that's number one. I don't know, I've been in this business 20 years, no one's seen any pictures of me partying and whooping it up. I take my being a role model very seriously.

We're willing to accept that two cities were indeed sharing Abdul's head space during those interviews—after all, the populations of Grey Goose Falls, WA and Vicodinville, TN are as excited about tonight's American Idol premiere as anyone. But we find it harder to swallow Abdul's assertion that she never partakes in any partying. Abdul strikes us as the life of the party, just that the parties in question are of the smaller, more intimate sort you can throw in your dressing room bathroom before you have to go out and sit through another fifteen hours of out-of-key auditions.