LOS ANGELES — American Idol judge Paula Abdul, whose loopy, emotional critiques of contestants and on- and off-screen behaviour brought singular appeal to the hit TV show, said she is quitting after eight years.
“With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return” to Fox’s singing contest, Abdul said in a posting Tuesday night on her Twitter account.
“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.”
Her announcement came on the heels of her contract talks and one day after Fox said that Kara DioGuardi would return for a second season on the American Idol judging panel, which includes Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson.
The addition of Grammy-nominated songwriter DioGuardi last year raised questions about Abdul’s future on the show, which was based on the British series Pop Idol.
In a statement, Fox and the show’s producers said Abdul was “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.”
They said she was “a tremendous talent” and wished her the best.
Abdul’s banter and bickering with the acerbic Cowell was as regular a part of Idol as off-key contestants, along with her shimmying behind the judges’ table when contestants sang upbeat songs.
Earlier this year, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly called Abdul “an integral part of the show.”