American Idol: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell

Michael Becker / FOX

It was the gaffe heard round the country. Now Paula Abdul (with some serious assistance from American Idol host Ryan Seacrest) tries to explain exactly what went down last night:

Paula called in to Ryan's KIIS-FM radio show Wednesday morning to discuss how they got kind of blindsided when the show's executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, changed things up on them at the last minute by asking for a quick recap midway through the show instead of at the end.

"It was so confusing," said Paula. "The whole thing is like, 'Hello?' It was crazy for us. In seven years, we've never had to do that."

"So, the kids are coming out, and I'm like 'Oh my God, what do we do?' " recalls Paula. "I just started looking at what I had written down and we've never had to do this before. I was reading the critique of what I had written for Jason Castro, and on the same page, I also wrote David. I got lost on my notes. And that's as simple as it was."

"So, you were talking about two different people, but accidentally, you said second song," confirms Ryan.

Nice save, Ry. But then that's probably why they pay you the big bucks.

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