Very close ... according to the singer who says she was asked to replace Abdul.
"As far as American Idol goes, I was actually approached a couple of years ago about possibly replacing Paula Abdul" Belinda Carlisle recently said.
Though the founder of The Go-Go's wasn't a fan of the show's format - and therefore turned down the offer - such news just adds to the speculation surrounding Abdul's life-span on the show.
"To be perfectly honest, it's just not my thing. I'd rather listen to music that comes from a more organic place. But you know, I just ... don't know if I would or not" said Carlisle.
For the rest of this year, at least, you can bet Paula will be the one to judge such hopefuls as Melinda Doolittle.