The singer announced in a series of Twitter posts that she will not be returning to the hit show next season. "With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to [Idol]," she wrote. "I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from [day one become] an international phenomenon."
"What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me. It truly has been breathtaking, especially over the past month. I do without any doubt have the BEST fans in the entire world and I love you all."
Last month, the singer's rep complained publicly that Idol producers hadn't even approached Paula with a new offer. (Meanwhile, they gave host Ryan Seacrest a $15-million-a-year contract and welcomed back Kara Dioguardi with open arms.)
The show's producers released a statement after Paula's announcement appeared on Twitter Tuesday night. "Paula Abdul has been an important part of the American Idol family over the last eight seasons and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show,” the statement said. “While Paula will not be continuing with us, she’s a tremendous talent and we wish her the best.”
Paula's fans (some of whom participated in a Twitter campaign last month to keep Paula on the show), expressed surprise and disappointment over the announcement. "I just can't see American Idol without Paula Abdul, I just can't," one fan tweeted. "No Paula Abdul, not the same American Idol," another fan wrote.
Though viewers occasionally wondered if Paula had more than Coca Cola in her cup, it is indeed hard to imagine American Idol without Paula at the judge's table -- making those comments that occasionally left us scratching our heads, dancing around during the best performances, doing her special seal clap...Things certainly won't be the same without her.
What are your thoughts on Paula Abdul leaving American Idol? How will her departure affect the show? Will she be better off without American Idol? Sound off in the comments.
Photo 1 by Kevin Winter/Getty Images. Photo 2 by Fox.