American Idol producers came close to sacking judge Paula Abdul earlier this month (MAR06) - and wanted to offer her job to Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson. Tensions on the set of the hit TV show were running high and producers were considering firing the former singer for her erratic behaviour. A source tells American magazine Us Weekly, "Paula was being very difficult. (She was) crying all the time and arriving late for meetings." The stress from the situation drove Abdul seek medical attention and she was treated for "exhaustion and dehydration". According to the source, executives from the show discussed replacing the troubled judge: "(They) liked Jessica (Simpson) a lot. And some were pushing for Britney (Spears)." Neither star ended up meeting with Idol producers and they decided to keep Abdul - for now. Abdul's representative denies the allegations: "Paula is always a joy on the set and everyone loves her. "If they were looking at Britney or Jessica, that's news to me."