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TV Column: Paula Abdul's return to TV is as whacky you'd expect

Preview of "Live to Dance." (CBS)

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Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 5, 2011; 12:17 AM

The seal clap, the Mad-Hatter's-tea-party-esque-speak, the ants-in-her-pants gyrations from the judges' desk, the too-glitzy-for-prime-time outfits.

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Paula Abdul is back.

Once again, she's choc-a-bloc full of "I came to teach people what oozes out of you" and "When the hair on my arm stands up and I get goosebumps, you have me!" Only this time, instead of playing Loopy Den Mother to thousands upon thousands of young wannabe pop stars, she's spewing her love on precocious moppet zombie dancers and botoxed "Solid Gold" relics.

Her new dance competition series, "Live to Dance," debuted Tuesday night on CBS and is based on the British show "Got to Dance."

Really, CBS? You couldn't clear "Got"?

Paula was joined by co-judges Kimberly Wyatt - who is a founding member of the Pussycat Dolls and who might want to re-think that hair - and Travis Payne, who, we were told, choreographed with the late, great King of Pop Michael Jackson. Wanna bet he talks about his dear friend Michael Jackson at least once per episode?

"I love Paula so much! Oh my gosh!" gushed one of the many people we were told turned out to audition for the show in Dance Domes across the country.

"We're here to bring it - for Paula!" raved another.

"We love you, Paula!" screamed a troupe of precocious moppets.

Tuesday's show began with adorable 9-year-old Jaylon, who has never been to a dance class but has learned his bag o' moves from watching people in movies that dance, he explained while his dad sobbed buckets of tears. Jaylon handed Dad a tissue. Each judge gave Jaylon a gold star - two or more gold stars would get him through to the next round.

"You are an amazing bright light to this show and this is exactly what this show is about," Paula exuded.

"There is so much joy coming out of this little face of yours, I just want to squeeze it. When you smile and you put that character into your movement, it is pure magic. Do you know you make so many people happy - are you aware of that?" she barked at Jaylon.


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