Lauralee Bell Lauralee Bell

Paula Abdul may no longer have the X factor, but she's still good for a few laughs on Castle!   Suds fave Lauralee Bell — aka Christine on The Young and the Restless — will guest star on the ABC mystery series March 19 as the Abdul-esque judge of a hit TV competition show called A Night of Dance. The episode centers on the murder of one of the program's contestants and will air — don't you love network synergy? — right after the season premiere of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

"There's also a Simon Cowell-type judge who's the executive producer of the show and he clearly rules the roost," reports Bell. "The third judge is totally Piers Morgan, only French." Bell plays Pam Francis, a delusional diva caught in a 1980s time warp. "She has the huge Morgan Fairchild hair and the fuchsia-colored sequined dress and the big fuchsia lips and the massive rhinestone necklace," Bell says. "And she's over-the-top clueless. At one point, the audience is booing one of her opinions and she thinks they're calling out her name in admiration." 

Is Bell concerned about running into Abdul after this airs — like in a dark alley? "If she even sees the show, I hope she doesn't think we're mocking her," the actress says. "We're just having some fun. Besides, I'm sure Saturday Night Live and a few other shows got there first." 

Truth be told, Bell can really relate — at least when it comes to Pam's Dynasty-era get-ups.  "It has me reliving my youth on Y&R," she says.  "I hate to say it but I looked exactly like that when I went to the Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1988!"

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