Will Paula Abdul Return for the 'American Idol' Season Finale?

The former judge is rumored to be among the Idol alums participating in a send-off for Simon Cowell

Sure, she's not a judge anymore -- but you know we couldn't go an entire season of American Idol without Paula Abdul. Abdul, 47, is rumored to be making a guest appearance on the Season 9 finale to celebrate -- er, commemorate -- Simon Cowell's departure. Sources at People say that Abdul will be one of several Idol alums to take part in a "special send-off" for Cowell, 50.

The love-hate relationship between Abdul, who loves to nurture young performers, and Cowell, who prefers to crush their dreams, had been one of the highlights of the show since Season 1. Idol producers were all too happy to play along, shooting a mock video of Cowell and Abdul making out, and allowing them to spar with one another when they were supposed to be talking about contestants. Behind the scenes, however, Cowell has always gushed about the singer-choreographer, even admitting his giant crush on her. (Perhaps knowing he doesn't have a chance with replacement judge Ellen Degeneres has away taken some of Simon's spark?) Knowing how emotional Paula can get, we imagine her goodbye to Cowell will be a tearful one.

Then again, it's possible that Cowell and Abdul's TV marriage will continue on a new show. Rumor has it that Cowell is trying to sign her as a judge on his upcoming talent competition X-Factor. "I think she is TV gold, genuinely," Cowell said of Abdul in January. "I will work with her in some capacity, because I miss her." Aww.

There's no word on which other Idol alums will participate in Cowell's goodbye ceremony, but we do know that the finale will feature a performance by Christina Aguilera. And of course, we'll learn whether Crystal Bowersox or Lee DeWyze gets to be the next American Idol. The two-part Season 9 finale takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Plus:
- Simon Cowell on 'Oprah': We Need a Judge Who 'Knows What They're Talking About'

- 'American Idol' Plans New Format -- What Gives?
- Elton John Turns Down Simon Cowell's 'Idol' Spot

Do you miss Paula Abdul on Idol? Chime in below!

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