"It was dumb on American Idol's part," the winner of season six told us earlier today at 102.7 KIIS-FM's Teen Choice Awards gifting lounge at the W Hotel in Westwood. "I love American Idol and I respect them. It's because of them that I got my start, but Paula was one of the original judges. She helped soften the blow for contestants when we didn't do well. I love Paula.
"The show will definitely not be the same without her, and I feel bad that future contestants will not get to experience having her on the show," she continued. "I'm so sad."
But when the going gets sad, the sad go swagging. Among the free loot that Ms. Sparks picked up at the lounge were a Disney Couture skull wrap, some Too Faced Lash Injection mascara and Metal Eyed Liner and a Graffeeti Remarkable backpack.
—Reporting by Dahvi Shira
Read what some other American Idol stars had to say about Paula's departure here.