Kara DioGuardi: 'I Never Was Here To Replace Paula Abdul'

'American Idol' judge 'completely shocked' by Abdul's departure.

On Ryan Seacrest's radio show on Friday (August 7), the "American Idol" host revealed that he, along with judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and guest judge Victoria Beckham, had landed in Denver for the next round of auditions. On the show, DioGuardi talked about Paula Abdul's departure from "Idol."

"I can't get over it. I'm completely shocked," she said about Abdul leaving the show. "It's such a loss for the show, such a loss for the contestants. She's definitely the heart of the panel."

She added that despite what people might think, she was never brought in to replace Abdul. "The way I'm understanding it is that it was her choice to leave," DioGuardi explained. "I never was here to replace her. It would be impossible to replace Paula Abdul. She's an incredible talent. She is somebody who helped make the show as big as it is. How could you ever replace that? If anything, she was really somebody who helped me, because it was awkward at times being the fourth person."

DioGuardi added that she was always treated with "heart" by Abdul. "The kind of heart she treated the contestants with, she treated me with last year," DioGuardi said, adding that she was "scared" when she joined the show last season. "She was so kind to me and made me feel immediately like part of the panel. I'm hoping she'll reconsider."

DioGuardi said that despite their relationship on the show, she hasn't spoken to Abdul since she announced she was leaving. "I've left her a lot of messages," she said. "I talked to her last week. I haven't spoken to her this week."

Now that she's one season into the show, DioGuardi is hoping to show people a more "comfortable" side of herself. "I am excited. You know it's an incredible show," she said. "Last year was tough at times because being the new kid you get beat up a bit, I'm hoping that this year that people are more accepting."

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