Now that we know the nation's most erratic pop star is leaving TV's biggest hit, it's time to pay tribute to Paula Abdul's long, strange ride on the pop culture roller coaster known as American Idol. The news, delivered appropriately enough by a Twitter post, was both surprising and not. The Hollywood Reporter says Abdul turned down a 30 percent raise, seeking $20 million to stay on. Some of you will no doubt be dissecting this turn of events for days. Here, we'll just offer up a reminder of what we're losing. So here's our list of Abdul's Best Moments on the Crazy Train (cue Daughtry's version of Home):
April 2005: Former Idol contestant Corey Clark shops around a book proposal claiming he slept with Abdul, who paid some of his bills and promised to pony up $2 million for his career. Months later, an investigation by Fox clears her of any wrongdoing.
January 2007: Abdul gives loopy satellite TV interviews while promoting auditions for American Idol 6. Slurring her words and babbling even more incoherently than usual, Abdul finds the incident sparks new rumors she is high on more than life.
May 2007: Abdul trips over her chihuahua, Tulip, and breaks her nose before the finale for Idol's sixth season.
April 2008: Abdul gets confused and critiques two songs by competitor Jason Castro though he only sang one. Sparked by confusion over changes made after rehearsal, the incident sparks rumors the judges comments are scripted in advance.
December 2008: Abdul blasts Idol producers in a radio interview with Barbara Walters for allowing "superfan" Paula Goodspeed to audition on the show, even after she told them Goodspeed was a stalker. In November 2008, Goodspeed killed herself in front of Abdul's home; the Idol judge later denied criticizing producers, perhaps because she was asked while the producers were sitting next to her.
May 2009: Abdul is quoted admitting an addiction to painkillers in an interview with Ladies Home Journal, then quickly denies it. So fans can hope; maybe she'll change her mind about leaving, too.