Each singer prepared two songs for Tuesday's show, and early in the broadcast Ryan Seacrest, the host, told the audience that the judges would not offer their regular critiques until after the singers had performed both songs.
But after each singer had performed a first song, Mr. Seacrest reversed course, bringing the performers onstage and asking the judges quickly to critique the performance of the first song.
On Wednesday, during his daily radio show on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, Mr. Seacrest said that Nigel Lythgoe, an executive producer of Idol, informed him of the change as the fifth contestant, Syesha Mercado, was performing her first song, only seconds before he was to query the judges.
Amid the chaos, Abdul addressed contestant Jason Castro, judging not just the song sung, but a second song, the one sung only during rehearsals.
Abdul told Seacrest on his radio show "she had seen [the contestant's] rehearsal of his second song as she was bringing in a friend to the dress rehearsal audience... and... mixed up the rehearsal and the live performances." Abdul made the "mix up" even though she heard only one, different song at the dress rehearsal and live performance.
Idol producers basically shrugged at the incident, saying judges have always admitted watching rehearsals.
But do they form detailed judgements during these rehearsals and basically can them for the live performance? Yes, apparently, since that's what just happened.
Expect the show to be cancelled after its 24 million viewers start ignoring the program in droves due to this obvious betrayal of their trust.
Ha ha, just kidding, Fox will be "punished" for this controversy with a big ratings spike, and Scarlett Johansson and the devil will laugh ecstatically as good music bleeds and dies a little more.