Potential replacements will be asked to show how sincerely they can say, "First of all, you look wonderful tonight" and "You are a bright, shining, cosmic celestial star, high in the firma-ne-uh-ment -- what do you mean, you haven't sung yet?"
Seriously, the Abdul-"Idol" negotiations have ended. Here's the "Extra" show's online version:
Abdul turned to her Twitter account to make the news public, writing, "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 day1 become an international phenomenon."
The Grammy winner added, "What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me."
Fans of Abdul and "Idol" showed their support for Paula when she announced she had not yet been offered a contract to renew her spot as a judge. She said, "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 North America and 19 Entertainment issued a joint statement on Tuesday: "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."
I can't help but think that Abdul is bluffing, and "Idol" called her on it. My friend Daniel Fienberg at Hitfix.com had a similar thought, writing:
It should be noted that FOX's statement is a direct response to what constituted a statement from Abdul, making her absence from "Idol" contingent upon her decision to leave. That is to say that it doesn't necessarily preclude the possibility that Abdul's tweeting was a negotiating ploy and that, in this instance, FOX and 19 Entertainment are simply calling her bluff and making it clear that they're prepared to go on without her, if she's prepared to walk away from the table.
Otherwise, Abdul could be joining the ranks of McLean Stevenson, David Caruso and others who have left hit shows. (Abdul claimed at one point that she had not been offered a contract, but more recent reports like this one from the L.A. Times tindicate there was an offer, just not one she wanted.)
My friend Alan Sepinwall has a good analysis of the situation here. And he's right that Kara DioGuardi has served little purpose on the show; I made enough "artistry" jokes here myself.