The ninth season of American Idol will premiere in January 2010 without Paula Abdul. American Idol isn’t the same without Paula Abdul, says Simon Cowell.
Simon, 49, tells Extra the show is now “different. It’s like comparing a carrot to a banana… They are different.”
On the ninth season, judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi return – along with celebrity guest judges, including Victoria Beckham, Shania Twain, Mary J. Blige and Katy Perry.
Simon says, he doesn’t want to “get in the middle” of Idol execs and Paula but definitely misses her being on the show. He also believes Paula will always be able to find work.
So what’s next for Paula?
“I definitely want to do a talk show because it would be different,” says Abdul, who has shot a guest role on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva and will host VH1’s Divas Live Sept. 17. “It would be a lot of fun variety with a ton of unexpected stuff and tributes to everyday people getting their big chance.”
“With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to Idol,” Abdul, 47, writes on her Twitter page. “I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon.”
She adds: “What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me. I do, without any doubt, have the BEST fans in the entire world and I love you all.”
Paula’s reps have refused to comment except provide a confirmation that she is leaving. The show will begin taping for the 9th season, with auditions starting in Denver.
FOX TV also released 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.”
With Paula gone, the three other judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi will return.
Tell us: Are you going to keep watching AI without Paula?
The American idoljudges and host are finalizing contract negotiations before the show returns for the ninth season. Ryan Seacrest recently renewed his contract for three years, a $45 million deal to continue as host, perhaps making him the highest paid host in the history of reality tv. Randy Jackson also signed on through 2011 while Kara DioGuardi has expressed interest to return. Though Simon Cowell will return for another season, his long term future on AI remains uncertain.
There were several reports that Paula Abdul will be returning to the show, however Paula’s manager is not certain of her return since the producers are not agreeing to their demands.
“Very sadly, it does not appear that she’s going to be back on Idol,” Abdul’s manager, David Sonenberg, who has yet to receive a proposal for her return, toldThe Los Angeles Times.
According to Sonenberg, who began managing the star in June, he told the network Abdul would “love to be on the show,” but is yet to get a response from the producers.
“She’s not a happy camper as a result of what’s going on. She’s hurt. She’s angry,” Sonenberg said. “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.”
Tell us: Will you continue to watch American Idol without Paula Abdul?