paula-abdul

Paula Abdul is making the jump from judge to host – at least for one night.

Abdul, who’s become Hollywood’s most coveted free agent since leaving her judge’s seat on Fox’s “American Idol” earlier this month, has officially signed on to emcee “VH1 Divas,” airing live on Sept. 17 at 9 p.m.

She announced her latest gig, how else, via Twitter.

“I’m really excited [to] announce I’ll be hosting this year’s ‘VH1 Divas!'” Abdul wrote late Monday night.

The former Lakers dancer also announced her departure from “Idol” on the nano-blogging site, 140 characters at a time.

“VH1 Divas” is a benefit concert for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to restore music education in American public schools.

This year’s divas include Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, Miley Cyrus and Jordin Sparks. It will be broadcast from the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn.

“Divas” is the first post-“Idol” project Abdul has officially committed to. It was rumored she would guest-star on ABC’s “Ugly Betty” as a ditsy office temp, but the role has since gone to “3rd Rock From the Sun’s” Kristen Johnston.

Abdul left “Idol” in early August, apparently over her paycheck. Since then, each of the networks has expressed interest in hiring her. Even Fox’s own Nigel Lythgoe, who produces “So You Think You Can Dance,” said he was considering her as a guest judge on that show.

“Divas” executive producer Lee Rolontz was ecstatic Tuesday when the network made the official Abdul announcement.

“We are so lucky, we are thrilled!” Rolontz told The News. “It was perfect timing.”

Rolontz isn’t even mad at Abdul for spilling the beans before the network could send out an official statement.

“We know Paula uses Twitter,” said Rolontz. “We expected her to do something as soon as we were ready to go.”

Abdul’s experience as both performer and choreographer, combined with her live television experience and the fact that she personally groomed two of this year’s “divas” – “Idol” winners Clarkson and Sparks – made her just the right fit, said Rolontz.

Not to mention the public interest in what Abdul will do next. Her appearance will no doubt draw curious viewers.

This year’s concert will be the series’ first in five years. The hiatus was a result of a lack of diva-ness in the music biz.

“We got to a point where we exhausted our divas list,” Rolontz said. “But we looked around this year and it was a no-brainer. There are fabulous young voices coming up in the industry and this group only scratches the surface. We’ve just hit a whole new generation.”

Past divas include Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Patti LaBelle, Cher and Elton John.

Rolontz promises a big opening number with Abdul, as well as a lot of “fun surprises” throughout the show. She also hopes the gig will be just the start of VH1’s relationship with Abdul.

“Paula of Love,” anyone?