I know the Paula haters will be cheering this move, but I think it's bad, not just for her, but for the show. Yes, Paula was often incoherent (that was part of her charm) and her flirtation with Simon was starting to get out of control. But she added both a note of comedy to a show that can take itself too seriously, and a strain of sweetness to an endeavor that has the potential to be cruel. She even seemed smart - or smarter - from time to time last season, thanks to the addition of Kara DioGuardi, though the four-judge format was clearly a mistake. Will Kara - who, it seems, will be returning - take Paula's place as a cheerer-on of hardworking contestants? Perhaps now, with a specific role to fill, the lackluster judge will improve. Still, I'll miss the chemistry and the zaniness and the crazy wardrobe choices that Paula brought to the panel. And I'll bet, by the end of the season, that the doubters will, too.
And what's next for Paula? Another godawful reality show? More mediocre music? Or will she fade into the background once again? Will you miss her as much as I will?