Straight up, it won't be Abdul and "Idol" forever

Paula Abdul is leaving "American Idol." How will the show ever find someone ditzy enough to replace her?

Published August 5, 2009 12:06PM (EDT)

The hearts of aspiring pop phenoms all over the country are breaking right now. "American Idol" judge and pop singer Paula Abdul has announced that she will not return to the show next season. She informed her fans of her decision via Twitter, writing in several Tweets:

With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return to #IDOL. I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all ...being a part of a show that I helped from day1become 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.

Abdul had been negotiating for a new contract in the wake of the show's host, Ryan Seacrest, signing a new $45 million deal with the show's producers. Abdul has been on "Idol" since 2002.

In July, when rumors first broke about Abdul's possible departure from the show, Salon critic Heather Havrilesky wrote a piece covering Abdul's "Idol" career. In the article, Havrilesky encouraged the show to drop Abdul, stating:

Even as "American Idol" has grown more and more insipid and idiotic and worthless since its first season, even when the only reason to watch has always been the one or two inspired performers per season -- the Adam Lamberts and the Fantasias -- one thing has remained the same: Paula Abdul. She is exactly as disconnected and vague and insecure as she was when the show premiered back in 2002. Abdul has always seemed to struggle just to form sentences, let alone to add something worthwhile to the discussion.

As a judge, Abdul was known for on-air eccentricity. In honor of her exit, here's a look at some of her um, distracted "Idol" moments.

  • In the following clips, Abdul appears completely out of sorts.

  • During the 2008 season, Abdul mistakenly thought a contestant sang twice when he'd only sung once.

  • Abdul also had an uncomfortable interaction with a stalker-like contestant during the show's seventh season.

  • In one of "Idol"'s more memorable staged moments, Abdul and fellow judge Simon Cowell fake fell in love.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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American Idol