Paula Abdul's new reality contest series "Live to Dance" premiered on Tuesday on CBS and saw the former "American Idol" cast member back at the judges table, along with Travis Payne and Kimberly Wyatt, formerly of the Pussycat Dolls.
Contestants of all ages, including pre-teens and an elderly woman, were seen competing. On Wednesday, the "Live to Dance" contestants will participate in a "dance-off" and 18 will be chosen as finalists. On January 12, the remaining contestants will begin competing against one another. The winner receives $500,000.
Abdul, an early 1990s-era singer and choreographer, served as a judge on the singing contest show "American Idol" alongside Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell, from the show's launch in 2002 to 2009.
She was replaced by Kara DioGuardi, who ended her run as a judge on the show in 2010 along with Cowell. Abdul, a former Laker Girl, was seen as the "cheerleading" judge who offered a more sympathetic ear and words of encouragement, in contrast to Cowell's typically-acerbic tone and dry and sometimes insulting comments.
The 10th season of "American Idol," which has undergone a shakeup following decreased ratings, is set to premiere on Wednesday, January 19 with Jackson and new judges Steven Tyler of the rock band Aerosmith and singer-actress Jennifer Lopez. Paula Abdul has said she will watch "American Idol" or at least record it on her DVR.
"I needed some time to really kind of reflect on the amount of hard work that I put into American Idol," Abdul told OnTheRedCarpet.com in August. "It was the biggest blessing of my life. I learned so much and it was so wonderful to be able to go back to my roots, where I was when I started, behind the camera, rooting and nurturing talent to take flight."
Meanwhile, Cowell is developing an American version of British talent series "The X Factor," while DioGuardi is set to launch her own songwriting contest series, tentatively called "Going Platinum," which will debut with 10 episodes on Bravo later this year and also feature singer Jewel.