When Kara DioGuardi was hired as a fourth judge last season on American Idol, critics believed it was a maneuver meant to prepare the show for Paula Abdul's departure.
That departure took place this week, but DioGuardi is in shock over it.
"I can't get over it. I'm completely shocked," she said on Ryan Seacrest's radio show today. "It's such a loss for the show, such a loss for the contestants. She's definitely the heart of the panel."
What, precisely, will Kara miss about her friend?
"The kind of heart she treated the contestants with she treated me with last year," she said. "She was so kind to me and made me feel immediately like part of the panel."
DioGuardi also made it clear that her addition to American Idol had nothing to do with Abdul's future.
"The way I'm understanding it is that it was her choice to leave. 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?"
Well, Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry will try. Each has been hired as a guest judge on season nine.