Paula Abdul Has Left American Idol

The judges’ panel on American Idol is going to be a lot less wacky from now on.

Paula Abdul announced via her Twitter account on Tuesday night that she was leaving the popular show.

“With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to #IDOL,” Abdul writes. “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.”

In a statement released to the media, the Fox Network and Fremantle media called Abdul “an important part of the American Idol family over the last eight seasons,” adding, “we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show.”

Oh no; who’ll keep Simon Cowell in check now?

Abdul had been in contract negotiations for her return to the show, and according to the Associated Press she was offered an eight-figure deal that would have been a 30 percent raise for the former “Straight Up” singer.

Earlier this week it was announced that newest American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi will be returning to the show this season, and in July it was announced that AI host Ryan Seacrest had signed a mega-deal worth a reported $45 million.

In the meantime, auditions for Idol’s next season are scheduled to begin in Denver on Friday.

Tell us in the comments section: Are you sad to see Paula Abdul leave American Idol, and who do you think should replace her?