American Idol Minus Paula?!

Paula Abdul has left American Idol after a months-long contract dispute.

Paula Abdul Twitters she's leaving American IdolThe often-addled third judge has been locked in tense contract negotiations with American Idol producers and has finally cried "uncle." Abdul announced the news via Twitter, writing, "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 day1 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."

Abdul is said to have fiercely objected to her $2 million contract after show host and new media kingpin Ryan Seacrest inked a $45 million deal for himself. Simon Cowell's piece of the pie is said to be hovering somewhere around $100 million. Sources say Paula's original asking price of $20 million was lowered to $12 million in recent days in a desperate bid to stay onboard.

Not helping matters: Kara DioGuardi signed on for the ninth season of the show in the judge's chair merely days ago -- where she was the fourth wheel last season. She will now be sitting in Paula's seat for an as-of-yet undisclosed fee -- but you can bet your bottom dollar that it's far less than $12 million.

Paula's rep spoke out against the evil corporate ne'er-do-wells earlier this week, telling the LA Times, "Very sadly, it does not appear that she's going to be back on Idol. I find it under these circumstances particularly unusual; I think unnecessarily hurtful. I find it kind of unconscionable and certainly rude and disrespectful that they haven't stepped up and said what they want to do. She's not a happy camper as a result of what's going on. She's hurt. She's angry. I think at this point we're going to be considering everything, including some kind of a competition show. She has tremendous ideas for a whole variety of shows."

Fox, FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment issued a joint statement to Extra on the matter: "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. While Paula will not be continuing with us, she's a tremendous talent and we wish her the best."

Take heart, fans. This will give Paula lots of time to not drink and not take painkillers and not be completely and utterly insane, which contrary to all evidence otherwise is exactly how she says she spends her free time.

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Comments on "Paula Abdul Twitters: Quitting American Idol"

Megan August 08, 2009 | 3:22 PM

Lois, Simon Cowell has been a major behind-the-scenes player in the music industry since the 80's, making and breaking acts like Paula Abdul (whose short-lived music career was a flash in the pan). Simon has made millions and millions of dollars not just for himself, but for countless others in the industry and is responsible for some huge European pop acts (as well as pretty much every major talent reality show in the world). Just because you prefer one judge over the other doesn't mean you can make ridiculous claims about someone's career or lack thereof.

ruth August 06, 2009 | 12:12 AM

Paula makes the show a lot of fun with her cute antics. I hope this is not final.

lois August 05, 2009 | 8:35 PM

I watched "E" biography of Paula Abdul tonight and was amazed at the great career she has had that had nothing to do with American Idol. She has Emmys, sold millions of music albums and performed with greats, like Gene Kelly!! What has Simon Cowel done before Idol, not much!! Good luck to you Paula, show them they made a big mistake by letting you go....

dan August 05, 2009 | 9:43 AM

Kara can't replace Paula and it is a shame they are trying. I have watched from the first show but have watched my last. No Paula= no me or my family!

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