[artist id="1397"]Paula Abdul[/artist], whose contract with "American Idol" expired at the end of last season, has confirmed to The Associated Press that she'll be back on the judges' panel again for the ninth season.
"I've been invited to stay the duration of the show, however long it lasts," she said, adding that she thought details of her contract would be negotiated before the start of the next season.
She added that she has a vital role on the judging panel. "I'm the nurturing mom, Simon's the disapproving dad, and Randy's the cool brother," she explained. "It's been an interesting journey. It's something that I'll always want to be a part of."
While Abdul was initially concerned about [article id="1609669"]the addition of fourth judge Kara DioGuardi[/article], she never thought the move signaled her exit.
"Whenever there is change, it's not about replacing anybody, it's about possibly moving on," she said. "I love the show, I do. I love what I do on the show, and I'm loving it more this season than ever. It's taken me awhile to get comfortable in my own skin with the show."
A spokesperson for the show told MTV News they could not confirm Paula's comments and would not comment on the status of Kara DioGuardi or Simon Cowell.
Back in May, [article id="1610684"]Cowell assured fans[/article] that all the "Idol" judges will be back for the show's next season.
"Everyone's going to be back. Absolutely," Cowell said. "It's been honestly the best eight, nine years of my life. But I just believe sometimes everything has to come to an end."
Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' [article id="1486475"]"American Idol" page[/article], where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.