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Ryan Seacrest: Paula Abdul Leaving Idol Not Contract Ploy

Aug. 5 2009, Published 1:03 p.m. ET

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Reactions on the show business landscape to Paula Abdul's Twitter statement, signaling the end of her American Idol stint, were those of shock and sorrow.

Abdul's fellow Twitter user and colleague, Idol host Ryan Seacrest, reacted to the news on his KISS-FM morning show Wednesday and explained that this is not a publicity stunt.

Earlier he wrote a series of glum tweets on Twitter in response to the jaw-dropping news.

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"I was about to go to sleep when I started seeing my blackberry blow up," Seacrest wrote. "I have read what u have read and I am shocked and saddened about paula. Idol and the cast have grown with each other over the last 8 seasons... I can't imagine the panel without puala sic. She's a star @ a great friend."

He wrote that he spoke to Idol judge Randy Jackson and hoped to contact Abdul early Wednesday to learn more of her surprising decision.

Former Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe told HollywoodOutbreak.com while he is "saddened" by her decision, he believes the show must go on.

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"I think Paula is an integral part of it," he said, "but she is a part of it and not American Idol. As far as I'm concerned its the talent that makes the show for me."

Lythgoe, currently a producer and judge on So You Think You Can Dance, said that the Abdul's reassuring presence and positive attitude on the judges' panel will be sorely missed.

"She, for me, was the heart of American Idol," he said. "When other people who hadn't been performers -- like Simon Cowell -- had cut their legs out from under them, she was there to pick them up and dust them right off."

He said he hopes her replacement will bring the same empathy to the position.

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