Paula tweeted tonight to tell the story herself...
She's leaving American Idol.
Now I'm a Paula fan. I wish she'd be tweeting us to tell us that she's staying with Idol. I'm not gonna get into the negative reasons which will permeate the pop culture news cycle tomorrow -- no doubt there will be many people analyzing "why" and "how" and whatnot.
No, I'm more concerned with Paula - the person. The woman who was beloved as one of the original three judges... the one who battled with Simon, who spoke up for the little artist... who represented the hopes and desires of people who aspired to do what the Laker girl did once:
She transcended the boxes people tried to put her in and she showed she was indeed an artist worthy of our respect and admiration.
People have taken shots at Paula. That's for sure. When I talked to her about her new solo music, which you can hear on my page, I asked her flat out what I now call the Hillary question:
How do you do it?
See people decided she somehow said she was hooked on prescription meds or whatnot. That became the story... and so I took the time I had with her to let her tell her own story.
You can hear it here.
She did. And while I was trying to be humorous in our conversation, the truth is that I still wonder how she dealt with it. Faceless and nameless people making amazing accusations against a woman who did nothing but dance her way into people's homes, bringing a degree of happiness to them with her music and giving them a bit of entertainment while a show - Idol - became a behemoth in the American television world.
Maybe now some of the hate will calm down a bit. Maybe now she won't have to deal with some of the BS that seemed to present itself at the most outrageous times, coming from the most outrageous of places.
I won't dive into the finger pointing. I'll point at her amazing career up to now, and to the amazing ride that is about to come to her.
The opportunities must be limitless now for Paula.
I can see a show on some rival network called Idol Uncensored hosted by Paula. Airing right after Idol. I can see a book coming - right as the audition shows start - giving us a glimpse at things we might have always wondered about but, now, with Paula's insight after being there as an integral part of building the Idol brand, we'll read with an extra sense of interest.
At times she was positioned into the sideshow. Now, it's Paula's turn in the spotlight. No more Randy. No more Ryan. No more Simon. All Paula.
Paula, it's gonna be fun to watch you rise. Go get yours girl!
I'm going to download some Paula Abdul vintage stuff now. Where is MC SCAT KAT when you need him!
All the best to you Paula. Thank you for the happiness you've brought millions. I'll be there to cheer you on as you work to bring more to the world as your future plans reveal themselves!