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Paula Abdul to Exit American Idol

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This will, no doubt, be the lead topic at Fox's upcoming executive session at the current Summer Press Tour. But it is finally official: Paula Abdul is leaving American Idol.

Said Abdul on her Twitter feed: "With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to American Idol. 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. 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."

In a statement regarding Abdul's exit, Fox, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment said “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 remaining three judges -- Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi -- are expected back in 2009-10.

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