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Paula Abdul to give 'Dancing With the Stars' a whirl?

"It was a beautiful morning, but the rain is on the way! How are all you tweethearts today? xoP"

Good old, coy Paula Abdul. Tweeting Tuesday about the rain, and the beauty of the day, and conveniently overlooking the most sensational or at least intriguing development in her sensational / intriguing career:

That she will be a contestant on the 10th season of "Dancing With the Stars," beginning March 22.

There was a battery of "no comments" Tuesday in the wake of a TMZ report that Abdul had signed a $1 million development deal with ABC, which also secured her as a contestant on the new season.

Such silence can usually be interpreted as accurate . . . or off-base. An industry source Tuesday, however, said the answer behind door number two is closer to the truth.

No Paula on "Dancing" - yet. In fact, the Paula-to-"DWTS" is as old as the show itself - a chestnut of a rumor whose originator is widely believed to be Paula herself. "DWTS" and "American Idol" are neighbors at CBS Television City, where both are taped, and Abdul has often visited the "DWTS" set.

Last summer, ABC Entertainment chief Steve McPherson said of Abdul, who had just walked away from "American Idol": "We would love to have her on 'Dancing,' whether it's as a contestant or a participant [or] judge . . . I think she's a huge talent."

If Abdul were to compete on "Dancing," benefits to both would be considerable. The show drooped a bit last season, in buzz, ratings and - more difficult to measure - overall fan passion. Oh, sure, the contestants were fine, etc. but (ummm) exactly who was the "star" who won? (Kidding: We remember Donny Osmond's Argentine tango like it was yesterday.)

But what of her possible role as a judge on Simon Cowell's "The X Factor," launching on Fox in 2011? Would a "Dancing" role pose a conflict of interest there? In fact, yes.

So here's a good rule of thumb with Abdul news: Don't wait for the tweet. Wait for the news release.

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