"I've been such fan since season one, and I was fortunate enough to be a part of Idol next door," she told Us of her former gig, whose soundstage is located directly next to the Dancing With the Stars space. "During commercial breaks I'd run over here and catch what was going on with this show and then run back to my seat. It's been a decade-plus, and they're like an extended family. I'm really excited." (Abdul first made a name for herself as a Hollywood choreographer to superstars like Janet Jackson.)
With the competition stiffer than ever during the show's All Star season, Abdul says she can't wait to weigh in on the contestants' routines.
"The choreography is just . . . it takes your breath away and it's beautiful," she shared. "Above and beyond all that, what I love so much about this show is that I know what dance does to people. I know how it transforms your life and it gets into the spirit and psyche and makes your heart brighter."
As for what she'll bring to the judges table? "It's more difficult because the talent is so good this season," the pop star admits. "You get carried away watching something you're so passionate about."
Luckily, "Carrie Ann [Inaba], Len [Goodman] and Bruno [Tonioli] all have their critical eye and they see things and they're technical," Abdul shared. "For me, I'm bringing a different perspective as someone who's had the blessing of growing up with dance and music and having a career in dance. So I'm going to strictly judge them on how [a routine] moves me."
During her chat with Us, the reality star also praised her former X Factor costar Nicole Scherzinger for recently opening up about her battle with bulimia. (The "Straight Up" singer has spoken candidly before about her own past struggles to overcome an eating disorder.)
"She's a beautiful girl and I'm happy that she's gone through the healing process and recovered," Abdul explained. "She's a good egg. She got help and you can't ever do those things alone. It's very important that you get the proper help that you need and she did."