Paula Abdul, American Idol

Michael Becker/FOX

When we think about Paula Abdul's eight years on American Idol, the words journey, magic, gorgeous, star, jewelry and "Simon!" come to mind.

But that's only because we're pretty sure Paula once told a contestant, "Your journey of magic is just your gorgeousness and you're already a star," while fiddling with her big ol' rings, after which she turned to glare at Simon Cowell, who was rolling his eyes.

Or something like that. You sort of always knew what Paula was going to say, but the excitement lay in waiting to see how it would come out.

So, with her Idol judgeship already one for the books, we've picked out nine moments in which Paula shined the brightest. Sure, she got some assists from Simon here and there, but when the acid-tongued Brit is looking for someone to tickle under the table next year... we'll see who really brought the magic to that panel.

Our memory is kind of spotty, so let us know in the comments which "Oh, that Paula!" moment we missed.

1. Who can forget when, in season seven, Paula's short-term memory failed her and she told Jason Castro that she loved his lower register in his first song, but in the second, his usual charm was missing for her. Perfectly reasonable, only...Jason had only performed once so far that night. Oops! Paula got the now of the broadcast confused with the then of rehearsal. It happens.

2. This moment, in which Paula praises Elliott Yamin's "funky white boy" soul, featured some of that infamous tickling as well as some of her signature rambling.

3. Atta girl.

4. "You are ridiculous. I want to just squish you, squeeze your head off and dangle you from my rearview mirror," Paula told David Archuleta after his breakthrough performance of "Imagine." She did not divulge, however, which part of David A.—his head or his body—she wanted to hang up.

5. We're cheating a little bit, but this clipfest, brought to us by PaulaAbdulFanNet, proves that there really are a hundred ways to say "It's a no for me."

6. There's nothing more endearing (in Hollywood, that is) than celebs who don't take themselves too seriously. Here's to Paula and Simon for kissing and making up—with tongue.

7. "If she were a dog, I would walk her...If she were a bathtub, I would caulk her." Remember Paula's audition-round stalker from season seven? Knowing there was security—and Simon's sheaf of papers—to protect her, Paula took awhile to get from flattered to freaked out.

8. That Danny Noriega sure had a lot of colors, didn't he?

9. They may fight sometimes, but when it comes down to it, we are really going to miss "mom and dad."

10. What isn't here? A particularly lyrical critique? Paula and Kara fake-making out? Paula and Kara smooching for real? Paula lip-syncing (but proving she can still dance) on the Idol stage? Paula under the table for one reason or another? Whether she was slapping Simon away, snoozing during Randy's name-dropping, crying during a standout performance or taking forever to put five words together, we know that the sweet-talking judge gave us a lifetime's worth of moments like this.


Then again, who knows if Paula will actually leave. Ms. Conspiracy Corner has her doubts.

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