Breaking News: Per Paula's Twitter
...she's not coming back.
Although it's not surprising that she was leaving...just saddening, for me at least. It was pretty much long overdue, from acting strange mid-decade to doubling efforts to act strange, and then from her slip with Jason Castro to Kara's arrival, and then a lot of other things.
Still, as much as it's not a total loss, I'm sad to see her go, especially after all these years. IMO, it's not the same sans Randy, Paula and Simon at the booth. With Brian's departure, it wasn't a big deal since AI was so new, but after nearly a decade, it's like the end of an era. Although it sort of ended this past season when Kara joined to make it four judges. And I mean no disrespect to Kara herself, but tradition has been the norm for me.
Speaking of Kara, the way AI staff handled that was perfect and inevitable. Well-planned to get someone in before the person being replaced exits. Although the compassionate comments are gone, I think I'm ready for nothing but the truth. Randy, Kara, and Simon equals toughness, no nonsense, and tell it as it is critiques.
Looks like Fox confirmed it as well, but I first learned from her twitter page, and it doesn't get more official than that!