Fox confirms Paula Abdul is leaving 'American Idol'

paulaidol_lPaula Abdul has announced on her Twitter feed, and Fox has confirmed, that she will not return to American Idol for another season. Abdul gave notice through proper channels before posting on Twitter, according to a Fox spokesperson. A source familiar with the negotiation says Abdul walked away from a 30 percent raise and an eight-figure deal. Below is the full statement from Abdul:

“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 day 1 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.”

The full statement from Fox:

“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.”

Fellow judge Randy Jackson said he was “shocked” by the news,  and Idol host Ryan Seacrest posted a response on Twitter saying he is “shocked and saddened.” Kara Dioguardi and Simon Cowell  — who has said in the past that he does not want to do Idol without Abdul — are not commenting.

(Reporting by Lynette Rice and Michael Slezak)

More on Paula Abdul’s Idol exit:
Reaction from Ryan Seacrest, Blake Lewis, Randy Jackson, and more…


Comments (446 total) Add your comment
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  • raj gondara

    that sucks…. i prefer paula to kara. i wish they’d keep paula instead of kara…

    • joyce

      it just means that kara’s cheaper in terms of TF.

    • lioness

      now they have three like-minded judges on the show no variety no unexpected statements no uncontrolled meander i knew they were not really intrested to keep paula from they brought in that girl and she made sure she showed that she would do anything they asked her by going on stage in a bikini. way to secure your job

    • krish

      who is kara again?

    • Sally in Chicago

      Paula added “flavor”. While you may have guessed what she was going to say (it was always basically the same), it’s the way she said it that made it interesting.
      Simon looks bored.

    • jack

      Paula was a big part of what made the Hit it was —She was the delicate Judge an mor experienced in the Interment Industry–bring her back –we love her

      • linda meade

        AL without Paula will not be the same Kara sucks and AL producers should replace her and give Paula what she earns Paula is worth it

  • Caitlin


  • Anna

    Well that’s a surprise!

  • Rey

    The Idol producers got it totally wrong! They should of let Kara go not Paula!

    • Gemini

      This is not the first time the producers have made a mistake. I still have a feeling Paula will be back. If not, I may find other things to do with my Tuesday and Wednesday nights….thanks to Kara.

      • Sally in Chicago

        It’s sexist. The boys get the big bucks and the girls get — little bucks. That’s what Paula’s fight was about. We don’t know what Randy makes, but I bet it aint $3Million.

  • Keith

    Sounds like Paula got a little greedy.

    • Alan of Montreal

      well, considering how much Ryan Seacrest got, I don’t blame her!

      • Antwon

        I don’t blame her either. It’s the #1 show on TV and advertisers pay big $$$ for commercial spots. Paula might be loopy but she isn’t a fool and I don’t blame her for asking for more money. I’ll miss and the show won’t be the same w/o her.

      • KWise

        Puhlease. Those judges sit there for about an hour per WEEK, make random comments that are typically less-than-helpful for the contestants, and they make MILLIONS of dollars as a result. Paula got greedy, bottom line, and has no right to demand over a 30% raise. I can accept Seacrest getting paid more – he actually has to WORK (at least compared to the judges). I bet he attends rehearsals, has to figure out his lines and the flow of the show. Hey, he’s not a police officer or a teacher, but he does h-e-l-l-a more work than those bum judges.

      • Zach

        I agree her getting paid less (and leaving!) is wrong. But she should have taken whatever they were offering her. It’ll be more than what she makes off the show!

      • Niix Starkyller

        In entertainment, and some other industries, contentment with pay scale is most easily attributable to that of one’s peers. Her peers are only the other 3 judges and Seacrest. Objectively, I see the greed argument but relatively, she shouldn’t be blamed for wanting equitable pay to that of her peers.

      • Season 9

        Oh Paula, go if you want to go or stay if you want to stay. Stop the sillyness … you’re embarrassing yourself … again! We all feel we should get a raise … you think you’re the only one that’s been doing a job for 8 years (yours is like what 3 days a week then pars down to 2 days a week?) Oh, and you also think you’re the only one who has co-workers that make ALOT more money than you? Oh, and I bet you feel you should earn ALOT more … oh, yeah … YOU’RE the only one! Give me a break!

    • cg

      To KWise AMEN!

  • Kaiulani

    I am shocked. I wish it was either Randy or Kara.

  • AuntieMM

    Gee I am surprised. The four judge thing is just too much but I’d rather have Paula than Kara.

  • Kalie

    I assumed that was why they brought Kara on the show, to get rid of Paula. The four judge format doesn’t work on AI.

    • April

      But sometimes they use four judges on the X-Factor in Britain — at least during the audition process. The main competition is drops back to three judges.

      But I’m with you though, once they brought Kara on, I knew Paula was a goner.

    • Sally in Chicago

      Yep, that’s why. Even Paula commented that it was crowded….so she saw the handwriting on the wall. And networks are cutting salaries and staff across the board. Someone had to go.

  • Mary

    I’m boycotting Idol. The show will suck now. They should have not brought Kara back and added her salary to Paula’s.

    • Susie

      The show will suck NOW? The show has sucked for years. They need to get rid of all the judges. They are bored and boring.



  • rob liefeld

    That sucks. I’m gone. Kara was horrible.

  • Sara

    WOW… I am shocked. I cannot believe Fox is so stupid that they replaced Paula with Kara, who the public despises. Seriously, they made a huge mistake bringing her on this past season, which was obviously the plan all along–to push out Paula. This show will not last 5 more years.

    • elr

      FRom what I have read in the comments so far I don’t think the show will last beyond this season. It is old and tired and the changes they made last year were terrible. And it’s starting to sound like this year will be even worse! I know I wasn’t planning on watching it. And now after reading that Kara is back and Paula is gone so am I….

  • gamebrat

    That sucks I watch because of Paula. I will not watch without her.

  • Jan

    Paula hardly got greedy. She has been paid less than Simon and Randy since the beginning for doing the same job. I’m not a Paula fan, but I think the salary difference disgusting.

    • galen

      COMPLETELY AGREE> what it all boils down to.
      and Kara aint that bad…jeez…

    • SarahP

      The salary difference is completely unacceptable and good for Paula for taking a stand. I’m actually a fan of Paula – I find her entertaining and thought that she made the most sense in (most of) her critiques this past season.

    • to Jan

      That fact that she was paid a lot and would demand a dollar more means she got greedy. She has little talent and can barely put a coherent sentence together.

    • Jon

      Actually, Randy, Simon, and Paula all had vastly different roles on the series. Simon, of course, is co-creator and basically runs AI along with other shows behind the scenes and probably ought to earn more than the others.

      I think it’s unfortunate because I definitely like Paula more than Kara but it’s a business and Paula made her decision. Was it the right decision? Only she knows, but I would not have walked away from a 30% raise and EIGHT figure deal. That’s tens of millions of dollars that she apparently felt was OK to walk away from. Oh well.

      Good luck, Paula, I hope you stay relevant.

      • arrg

        Dude, Paula didn’t make any decision. She was not rehired.

      • P.S.

        Stay relevant?? ROTFLMAO

  • Amy Brees

    What the hell is she going to do? She’s crazy not to take whatever they give her!

    • Casey

      Money isn’t everything. Principles almost always do.

      • cg

        Principles almost always do what? Of course money isn’t everyhting. They fired her.

  • Beth

    Kara SUCKS. Paula adds the crazy, but it’s a GOOD crazy. Idol needs her. This is a terrible decision all around.

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