Paula Abdul announced via Twitter on Tuesday she is quitting American Idol. The decision came as a shock to Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who tweeted that he “can’t imagine the panel without Paula.” Only last month, Paula Abdul said she was in contract negotiations with the show and had been invited to stick around as long as American Idol stayed on the air.

On Monday, Fox confirmed songwriter Kara DioGuardi would be returning as a judge for a second season of American Idol. Considering the rumors of bad blood between DioGuardi and Abdul, it’s interesting that Abdul announced she’s quitting just a few days later. Reports abound that Abdul was also after a hefty pay raise, reportedly demanding $20 million to appear on the next season of Idol, but wasn’t able to convince Fox to pay out.

“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 day1become [sic] an international phenomenon,” Abdul posted on her Twitter feed Tuesday night.

“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.”

On his radio show Wednesday morning, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest said he was “shocked” and “bummed because we’ve worked together for so many years.”

American Idol season 8 winner Kris Allen said via Twitter he was “glad I was able to be a part of your last season on the show. You showed us so much love.”

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