Paula Abdul Says Leaving 'Idol' Wasn't About Money

Photo: Tsuni/Gamma

In one of her first interviews since announcing her departure from American Idol, Paula Abdul reveals why she left her post on the judges’ panel — and wasn’t just about money.

“I had to stand on my principle,” Abdul, 47, tells TV Guide. “I’m going to miss the experience of watching young talent evolve into a place where they get to take off and soar.”

The former Idol judge, who calls the show an “amazing experience,” says her decision wasn’t solely about a paycheck dispute. “I stand on principle where many stand on money,” she says. “I’m a hard-working artist. I’ve lasted in this business for 23 years. And you can’t do that unless you are good at what you do.”

That success seems to have given Abdul a confidence that will last in her post-Idol career. “I believe in myself and you have to have your own self respect,” Abdul says. “And sometimes decisions are very difficult to make, but I’ve always believed that at the core I’m a survivor. There’s not one thing I’ve done that I’ve really set my mind to that I’ve failed at.”

So what’s next? “I definitely want to do a talk show because it would be different,” she says. “It would be a lot of fun variety with a ton of unexpected stuff and tributes to everyday getting their big chance.”

Abdul, who’s been busy shooting a guest role on Lifetime’s comedy Drop Dead Diva, says just because she’s no longer sitting beside Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson doesn’t mean she will not tune in to TV’s top talent search. “I had some really unforgettable moments that hit plateaus for me and I’m very blessed to have been a part of what made television history,” she says.

And finally, Abdul expressed gratitude to her fans. “The fans all should know I adore, love, appreciate and respect how much they’ve expressed their outpouring of love and support for me,” Abdul says. “That’s what keeps me going in lots of ways.” –Brian Orloff

Tell us: Would you watch a talk show starring Paula Abdul?Tsuni/Gamma

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