When Paula Abdul performed the song ''Vibeology'' at last month's MTV awards, the singer's unflattering costume and Madonna-like gender-bending chorus line were met with disdain by onlookers. Afterwards, rumors flew that the video vixen had cut her managers loose only to rehire them immediately and had dumped ''Vibeology'' as her next single.
Well, the whispers about ''Vibeology'' proved to be true, sort of: The song has indeed been nixed as the third single from Abdul's Spellbound album in favor of ''Blowing Kisses in the Wind.'' But she still retains her longtime advisers at Platinum Management, and rumors Abdul had called in Michael Jackson's former comanager Ron Weisner were hotly denied.
Abdul's camp insists the switch in singles, which required quickly mounting a new promotion and video campaign, had nothing to do with the MTV embarrassment. According to Abdul's publicist, the change was made when influential New York radio station Z-100 jumped on ''Blowing Kisses'' and created a strong demand for the song.
The behind-the-scenes melodrama comes just weeks before Abdul embarks on her first national headlining tour, titled ''Under My Spell'' and slated to kick off Oct. 26 in Birmingham, Ala. The former Laker Girl's cachet as a concert draw has yet to be determined, of course, but one thing is certain: There won't be a reprise of the MTV awards performance. ''That was a one-time, specially choreographed number just for MTV,'' promises Abdul's spokesman. ''Even the dancers on her tour will be different.''