Paula Abdul by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/ WireImage.com
Here's a combination that would send the Nielsen meters into overdrive: Paula Abdul, a judge on television's No. 1 show ( American Idol), becoming a contestant on the No. 2 show ( Dancing with the Stars). According to Dancing pro Louis van Amstel, Idol's own tiny dancer says she loves the ABC competition and wants to be a part of it. "I thought she meant as a singer," says Van Amstel. "But she said, no, she wants to be a contestant. She wants to dance."

TV Guide went to DWTS executive producer Conrad Green to see if the door was open. "It's really flattering and a great story, potentially," he said, warming to the idea. "But I would imagine that Fox might have something to say about it. I'd be surprised if Paula were in a position to come on our show." Van Amstel thought the same thing, but says, "Paula told me that contractually, she can do whatever she wants... that Fox has no hold on her." (We tried to reach Abdul for comment, without success).

Is it simply a matter of Paula cooling her heels until next fall? Not so fast, says Green, considering all the ramifications. "The only thing we've ever said that really excludes people is if they have had professional ballroom or Latin training," he notes. "But with Paula, this is a real gray area. If it gets to the point where you've been a full-time choreographer - that it's been a job, a stage in your life - that's really pushing it, isn't it? I do think the other contestants would probably find it unfair if Paula Abdul came on. That would be like having Michael Jackson saying that he wanted to dance on our show."

So it looks like Abdul will have to be content to dance at the occasional Super Bowl. Or behind her Idol desk. - Deborah Starr Seibel