Like everyone else, the Idol host wasn't privy to the information until Abdul posted her departure on Twitter. He was eating dinner when word hit the Net.
"I got on the phone to track down whoever I could before I went to sleep and I was told, 'Yeah, it's sad but true. She's leaving,' " he said. "This week, Randy, Simon, Kara and I are in Denver at the end of the week so I'm sure I'll have more to tell you."
And, just in case you are jumping to the same conclusion as many, Seacrest assures fans that, as far as he knows, this is "not a publicity stunt."
Added cojudge Randy Jackson in a statement today: "I am shocked [dawg]. Paula is a dear friend and will be missed."
And they aren't the only Idol stars saddened by the loss. Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and others have already shared their grief with the Twitterverse…
"We love you," season-eight winner Allen writes. "Glad I was able to be a part of your last season on the show. You showed us so much love."
"I'm really sad 2 see Paula Abdul not coming back 2 Idol," Gokey says. "She was the judge with the biggest heart! She really will be missed :("
The whole thing has many people feeling :(.
"OK, I'm so bummed Paula is not returning to Idol," Candace Cameron Bure wrote last night. "It just won't be the same without her :(."
Some stars cannot hide their hope that the fans will rally and change the "Opposites Attract" singer's mind.
"SAVE PAULA! SAVE PAULA! SAVE PAULA!!! Tweet this to all your friends if you want to SAVE PAULA on American Idol," E!'s own Guiliana Rancic writes emphatically. "Maybe Fox will listen!!!"
You never know...
That shot of Leonardo DiCaprio in Big Pic without a shirt should help turn your :( into a :).