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‘American Idol’ Original Judge Paula Abdul Says She ‘Left the Show at the Top’ (Video)

“Maybe it’s run its course,” former judge says of Fox singing competition

News that Fox will end its long-running singing competition “American Idol” after its upcoming 15th season dealt a blow to fans on Monday.

But as far as original “Idol” judge Paula Abdul is concerned, the show hasn’t been the same since she exited.

Speaking to “Extra,” Abdul — who sat on the judge’s panel from 2002 until 2009 — declared, “I left the show at the top,” adding, “after I left, my presence, it felt different. And then a year later Simon [Cowell] left, and it feels different. And many years later Randy [Jackson] left.”

Abdul added that the show’s current judges, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. are “fantastic” and “brilliant at what they do and they’re fun to watch.” However, she noted, ” I think that a certain point maybe everything comes to a close. Maybe it’s run its course.”

Founding “Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe, who exited the show in 2013, also weighed in, intimating that he would like to return to the show before the lights go out forever.

“They’ve stated they’re going to do this incredible, the ‘American Idol’ experience across the year, so I’m hoping they’re gonna bring back the judges, I’m hoping they’re gonna bring back together all the American Idols and I’m hoping they’re gonna reinstate the executive producers,” Lythgoe said.

Nonetheless, he echoed Abdul’s sentiment about the show running its course: “I think it’s the right time now because it’s had such an incredible legacy that it should preserve.”

While “American Idol” is preparing to close up shop, Cowell might be returning to Fox — and not just for a final-season reunion on “Idol.”

As reported exclusively by TheWrap on Monday, Fox is considering a new project with Cowell, whose show “The X Factor” also found a home on the network. According to an insider, the plan would be to let things cool off for a year after “Idol” goes off the air, then return with another reality project from Cowell.

Watch Abdul and Lythgoe talk about “Idol’s” demise in the video.