Paula Abdul's Take on Idol's New Judges: 'They're Fantastic'

American Idol - Paula Abdul Likes Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez
Paula Abdul

02/01/2011 AT 03:00 PM EST

The new season of American Idol is underway – with its two new judges – and at least one famous fan approves.

Paula Abdul, who co-judged the show for eight seasons before she left in 2009, says of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, "They're both fantastic."

Abdul hasn't yet seen the new show or had the opportunity to speak with Tyler or Lopez but says, "They're seasoned veterans. They know what they're doing."

As far as the playful love-hate relationship she had with Simon Cowell, who ended his run as judge last season, Abdul says the two stay in touch.

"That voice is permanently embedded in my brain," she says jokingly.

And Abdul, who is currently executive producing and serving on the expert panel for the CBS reality dance competition Live to Dance, holds Idol memories dear.

"I have nothing but a debt of gratitude [for the show]," she says. "There are aspects of it that I will always treasure."

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