American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi Friday told host Ryan Seacrest on his KIIS-FM radio show Friday that she was "completely shocked" to hear of Paula Abdul's decision to leave the show earlier this week.
DioGuardi said the support her more experienced colleague, Abdul, provided her during her freshman year as a judge on the panel was invaluable, adding that Abdul's calming effect on the talent will also be missed.
Said the judge: "She's definitely the heart of the panel... I'm hoping she'll reconsider, I've left her a lot of messages."
DioGuardi shot down reports circulating that her entrance onto the judges panel was a preemptive move to ease the 'Forever Your Girl' singer off the show.
"I never was here to replace her," DioGuardi said. "It would be impossible to replace Paula Abdul. She's an incredible talent. If anything, she was really somebody who helped me -- cause it was awkward, at times, being the fourth person."