'American Idol': Twitter Reacts After Paula Abdul Returns as Guest Judge and Slams Simon Cowell

The former 'Idol' judge returned to sit in for Luke Bryan on Monday's live show, where the season's Top 12 were revealed.

Monday's American Idol was a showstopping episode in so many big ways. Paula Abdul made her return to the judge's table, while the season kicked off its first live episode, and the competition got cut down to the Top 12!

Abdul made her Idol return after Luke Bryan tested positive for COVID-19, which the country crooner revealed Monday morning.

As Abdul reunited with host Ryan Seacrest, she also reconnected with her former Idol co-star Randy Jackson over FaceTime.

Seacrest held up a tablet for Abdul to chat with Jackson, who said, "It feels like old times, doesn't it?"

"Yes it does. We’re just missing the STD!” Abdul replied, referring to their former fellow judge Simon Cowell, leaving Seacrest legitimately baffled.

"The what?!" Seacrest asked, not sure how to react. Abdul quickly came up with an attempt to save the moment, and joked that she meant it as an acronym for "Super talented, debonair." 

Coupled with the fact that Abdul also referred to Cowell as a "grandfather" at one point, fans were quick to jump online and celebrate the return of the unpredictable and often outspoken judge.

Meanwhile, the competition itself got cut rather dramatically during Monday's live episode, in which the Top 16 were whittled down to the Top 12.

At the top of the show, it was revealed that Wyatt Pike had to drop out of the competition due to unspecified personal reasons, meaning only 15 singers would be fighting it out for the slots. The 10 singers who got the most votes were told that they were safe and would be moving on, however the bottom five were told they were in the danger zone, and would be singing to try and get saved by the judges.

Here's who made it into the Top 12 on Monday's episode, and the song they sang for America's next big vote:

Casey Bishop -- "House Of The Rising Sun" by The Animals.

Deshawn Goncalves -- "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder.

Cassandra Coleman -- "Light On" by Maggie Rogers.

Caleb Kennedy -- "Nowhere," original song.

Ava August -- "Love Of My Life" by Queen.

Chayce Beckham -- "What Brings Life Also Kills" by Kolton Moore & The Clever Few.

Alyssa Wray -- "The Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston.


Willie Spence -- "Diamonds" by Rihanna.


Grace Kinstler -- "Dangerous Woman" by Ariana Grande.


Hunter Metts -- "I Can’t Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt.


And the saved singers were:

Madison Watkins -- "Hotline Bling" by Drake.

Beane -- "Grow As We Go" by Ben Platt.

This means, apart from Pike, the Idol journey has also come to an end for Alanis Sophia, Colin Jamieson and Graham DeFranco.

After the show, Abdul -- alongside judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie -- spoke with ET's Lauren Zima, and the singer addressed her remark about Cowell.

According to Abdul, the acronym she used really stood for "sexy, talented and debonair," as she coyly played down the moment.

For the former judge -- who was with the show from it's inception through it's eighth season in 2009 -- also reflected on her return and said being back "felt nostalgic."

"I didn't have time to think about it because it was literally, I got the call on Friday night and I was worried because I was getting my second vaccine and I thought, 'Oh my God, what if I have a reaction?'" Abdul recalled. "I was able to move my appointment to Saturday night, so yesterday I was feeling kind of crappy, but today I woke up fine. And it was fun!"

"I love being on this panel tonight. It's way different than the panel that I was on, that's for sure," she shared, jokingly adding that she "didn't have to go to therapy" to get ready to join Perry and Richie.

Tune in Tuesday's Entertainment Tonight to see the judges' full conversation about Monday's show and Abdul's Idol comeback. Check here for local listings.

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.