Paula Abdul appeared during the finale of American Idol to pay tribute to Simon in a funny and heartwarming video segment.
“It’s fantastic being here tonight,” she said. “I really miss everyone!” She told Randy he looks charming, then asked Ellen if she wants to dance. She told Kara she looks beautiful. And to Ryan: “You’re so cute, I want my lip gloss back!”
“And Simon … that’s all I got. Goodnight, everybody!”
Paula also stated the real reason why she left American Idol:
“There’s a baby back there with Simon’s haircut, and, honey, it’s your turn to feed him.”
And just before the show goes into a Simon montage set to Frank Sinatra’s My Way, Paula told him, “American Idol’s not going to be the same without you, but, as only I can tell you, it will go on.”
After the video montage, all the American Idol winners graced the stage (well except for David Cook) to sing “Together We Are One.” Selected American Idol finalists take the stage for the final choruses.
Ryan beckoned Simon to the stage for a farewell speech.
“I didn’t think I was going to be this emotional, but I genuinely am,” he said. “What Paula says is true: The show goes forward, it will be different, but I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support, the fun.” And, when it comes to the question of who will replace him as judge, he says, “The truth is, you guys are the judge of this show, and you’ve done an incredible job over the years.”
Watch the video here: