In what might be the least surprising announcement of the year, Paula Abdul took to her Twitter feed last night to announce she was leaving American Idol. The statement said:
“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.”
Fox, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment confirmed Abdul’s departure in a statement saying:
“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.”
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Abdul asked for about $20 million to continue with the show and rejected a 30% raise; an eight-figure multi-year deal.
A few days ago, judge Kara DioGuardi was re-signed for next season. Simon Cowell has also committed to next season but is already talking to Idol producers about a new contract, reportedly seeking more than $100 million a year. Meanwhile, host Ryan Seacrest signed a three-year $45 million deal with 19 Entertainment.
Ryan Seacrest sent a Twitter message of his own last night in response, saying:
“About to go to sleep when I started seeing my Blackberry blow up. I have read what you have read and I am shocked and saddened about Paula.”
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