Contestants on The X Factor aren’t the only ones subject to star/producer Simon Cowell’s tight-shirted, nipple-y wrath. Yesterday, he cleaned house in regards to on-air talent, giving Nicole Scherzinger, Steve Jones, and Paula Abdul the axe, leaving only himself and L.A. Reid on the show right now.

X Factor performed decently, but fell short of expectations after X Factor had killed it over in the U.K. Consequently, Cowell appears to be taking a new approach. The dismissal of Scherzinger and Jones came as no surprise since their performances were widely panned, but longtime co-worker Paula Abdul’s dismissal came as a shock to those close to the show.

So, what’s next for Paula? She has a particularly unique skill set that doesn’t lend itself to careers at H&R Block or alpaca-raising. Where does she go from here?

We’ve got some suggestions.

Return as a Cheerleader to the L.A. Lakers

After an unceremonious dismissal in the second round of the playoffs last year, along with some offseason drama, the Lakers are struggling to find a foothold this season. As many know, Abdul was a Laker girl in the 1980’s during the team's Showtime era, so a return seems like a good fit for her at this stage in her career. While Abdul can’t make the Lakers play any better, she probably could get more people in the seats as the NBA’s only fifty year-old midget cheerleader.

They could also have her join on another capacity, maybe judging the Lakers and their opponents on finesse, moves, singing ability, etc. I would be tempted to watch that.

Reuniting with MC Skat Cat

“Opposites Attract” was Paula Abdul’s greatest song, with “Straight Up” and “Rush, Rush” coming in a distant second and third. This isn’t really up for discussion.

So, it seems logical that a reunion with her “Opposites Attract” co-star, cartoon cat MC Skat Cat would be a smart move. The nice thing is that kids still love cartoons, and that since MC Skat Cat is animated, time hasn’t ravaged his once-youthful looks the way it has Paula’s.

Further, it was more-than-suggested in both the “Opposites Attract” song and video that she was carrying on a romantic and sexual relationship with MC Skat Cat. Take a look:

Where are they now? Given his penchant for cigarettes, perhaps he had a tracheotomy. Does he still steal the covers? Do they have any half-cartoon cat/half-Paula Abdul children? America would like to see them if they do.

Co-Host with Adam Richman on Man and Paula Abdul vs. Food

We’ve seen Paula critique and praise aspiring singers for over a decade now. We’re over it. I think what America would like to see is Paula Abdul eating 15 dozen oysters.

She would be the yin to Richman’s yang, a diminutive girl that America would really like to throw their weight behind as she tackled an 18-inch-thick pastrami sandwich somewhere in Columbus, Ohio.

Also, watching her break down and cry when she failed a challenge would be fun.

Also, also, I think watching her get really fat would be enjoyable. She’s the type of girl that would gain 15 pounds after her first challenge. Let’s go on this journey with her!

Bumfights on Spike TV with Paula Abdul

Everyone loves Bumfights, right? It’s been out of the cultural lexicon for a couple years, but that just means it’s primed for a return. Sure, lots of people object to Bumfights on the grounds that it’s horribly exploitative and treats the less fortunate as subhuman, but couldn’t the same things be said of American Idol and The X Factor?

The truth is that Paula’s presence made both those show much more palatable, and I’m sure that she would do the same for Bumfights.

The Wire: Featuring Paula Abdul

I liked The Wire a lot. But one thing I didn’t like was its lack of starpower! When Method Man is your biggest star, it’s time to execute your casting director and start over. That’s why I propose that we pretend that the original run of The Wire never happened, and maybe it picks up with Paula Abdul as a single mom arriving in a new town to start the next chapter in her life. And instead of being called The Wire, it could be called Startin’ Fresh! It would feature guest appearances by Randy Jackson and her “Rush, Rush” co-star Keanu Reeves. The guy that played Bubs could be her landlord, and she would develop a “will they or won’t they?” relationship with her boss at Pinkberry, who would be played by the guy who played Prop Joe.

Be a Contestant on American Idol

This is a bit of a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want to see Paula supplicate, hat in hand, returning to the show that she scorned. It would be like when Mark Wahlberg asked Burt Reynolds for help at the end of Boogie Nights. It’s like that old adage “biting the hand that feeds you,” only she would now be asking for food from the hand that she had once bit. Whatever. A copywriter could convert that into some kind of teaser tag line.

Also, it would be pretty great if she performed, then, after receiving the judges’ feedback, she critiqued their critique in a meta twist that only the most savvy Idol fans would appreciate.

What I’m getting at is that Paula Abdul has a ton of options ahead of her, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

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