Paula Abdul has officially left her post as resident shoulder-to-cry-on on the American Idol judging panel. An irreconcilable contract dispute (aka being replaced by the vile but knowledgeable Kara DioGuardi) has left Paula out of FOX’s upcoming 9th season of the ratings juggernaut.

Beloved by contestants for being the one consistently supportive voice on the panel and enjoyed by fans as a hilarious hot mess, Paula will surely be missed; Simon and Ryan, after announcing their own returns to the show, both said that American Idol wouldn’t be the same without Paula.

Is Paula’s departure the end of Idol as we know it? Or will no one really care at all?

Note to FOX: your particularly high ratings last year had nothing to do with Kara and everything to do with Adam Lambert (and Kris Allen, to a lesser degree). In fact, they were probably high inspite of the blithering, immature climber who wrote the disastrous “No Boundaries”.