Judith is probably better off for it. Went out there, showed off what she can do, made some more connections and didn't get stuck in a crappy contract.
Very true, the winners aren't usually the ones who go on to have the best careers. I think she will be successful on her own. I feel that her absence will hurt the show though, as there are slim pickings from the folks we've got left. I keep waiting for that "breakout performance," as the judges like to call it, where somebody does something amazing and I start to really root for them, but it hasn't happened yet...with only a couple of weeks left, I don't think it will this year.