Paula on Ellen: 'I Wish Her The Best Of Luck'

Departing "Idol" judge has kind word for replacement

Friday, Sep 11, 2009  |  Updated 11:18 AM PDT
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American Idol Then & Now

Paula Abdul wished Ellen DeGeneres luck in her new gig as an "American Idol" judge.

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Paula Abdul has issued her approval for her "American Idol" replacement.

"I think Ellen will b a gr8 judge on Idol," Paula Tweeted on Thursday.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Ellen DeGeneres

In August, Paula announced via Twitter that she would not be returning for the show's ninth season after spending the previous eight sitting next to Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and, starting last season, Kara DioGuardi, at the judge's table.

"She is wildly funny, talented and I wish her the best of luck!" Paula added about Ellen.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: 'Straight Up' Photos Of Paula Abdul!

The former "Idol" judge said much the same in a statement to Access Hollywood on Thursday afternoon, complimenting her former show as well.

"'American Idol' is a fantastic show that offers an invaluable platform to young talent. Ellen DeGeneres is wildly funny and talented in her own right. I wish her and the show only the best of luck," she said in the statement.

Comedienne and daytime host Ellen DeGeneres was announced as the show's new permanent judge on Wednesday night. A number of stars have filled in for Paula during the show's audition rounds, ranging from Neil Patrick Harris to Katy Perry to Victoria Beckham.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: The Verdict Is In! Judges Of Reality Television

And Kara, last year's fresh face, also weighed in on Ellen's addition, telling Sirius XM's Larry Flick in an interview to air on Friday that her first year on "Idol" was "hellish."

"[I'm] thrilled," she said, adding she was glad not to be the new kid on the block any more. "I'm a huge Ellen DeGeneres fan. I think she's going to bring so much to the show. She's somebody who loves music, she's positive she's somebody who's watched the show from the beginning, she knows everything there is to know about 'American Idol.'"

Aside from judging the show, Kara hopes Ellen will be a new pal on the "Idol" set.

"I'm so excited to hang out with her," Kara said. "I've only met her once. I would love to say, 'This is great,' to let her know that I'm completely ecstatic."

Former "Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe also weighed in on the decision, praising Ellen as "excellent."

"I was just as surprised as anybody to hear that Ellen would be joining the Idol judging panel - pleasantly surprised," he said in a statement to Access. "Ellen was just a guest judge on 'So You Think You Can Dance' and she was excellent. Prior to that, she hosted 'Idol Gives Back' for us in 2007. Each time, audiences loved her - she 'gets' people, really connects and keeps them laughing.

"It's no secret that music and dance can break down barriers and bring people together. Add some comedy to the mix and you have a winning formula," he continued. "We saw it in the banter between Simon and Ryan and now I have no doubt we will see more of it with Ellen. No one will ever replace Paula, she will always be part of the original 'American Idol' family - the history behind the magic. Now, I will be watching, along with the rest of the world, to see what new magic Ellen will bring to the show."

Related Content from AccessHollywood.com:
PLAY IT NOW: Randy Jackson Reacts To Ellen DeGeneres Joining 'Idol:' 'Hot! Hot! We Love It!' (September 10, 2009)
PLAY IT NOW: Kara DioGuardi Talks 'Idol' Rumors

MORE ACCESS ON THESE TOPICS: Ellen DeGeneres - Paula Abdul - Kara DioGuardi - Music - Katy Perry

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