"Kandi announced last night on the Grammy red carpet that she's not gonna be returning to The Real Housewives of Atlanta after an unbelievable run," Cohen reacted during the Feb. 5 episode of his SiriusXM Andy Cohen Live radio show. "Incredible run. And you think about how much she not only went through on the show, but brought to the show."
The Watch What Happens Live host then reflected on Burruss' countless memorable moments on RHOA, from introducing the world to her scene-stealing mother Mama Joyce and writing former costar Kim Zolciak's hit song "Tardy for the Party," to meeting now-husband Todd Tucker during the cast's season four trip to South Africa and even creating her own Bravo spinoff Kandi & The Gang.
And while Burruss always brought it in front of the camera, Cohen also shouted out her work ethic behind the scenes.
"She wanted to be the best," he noted. "She has been one of my favorite people to work with in my whole time. First, as an exec at Bravo, and then as an E.P. of The Housewives and hosting Watch What Happens Live. I love how competitive she is. I love how thoughtful and smart she is. She is so strategic."
"She would call me anytime she had a thought about either the way the show was being marketed or not marketed or about the way that it was being scheduled," he continued, "or she had a lot of really smart opinions and thoughts and she always wanted to know more. 'What's your strategy here? What are you thinking?' It was always a great dialogue, and then, sometimes at the end of the conversation, she would say, 'You know what? I'm glad I called. I totally get it now.' Sometimes she would say, 'Y'all are wrong,' and you know, and a lot of times she was right."
Cohen even shared details of the emotional moment Burruss told him she was departing the show.
"We had a long talk the other day, she and I and Todd on the phone," the 55-year-old revealed. "I appreciate her saying, 'You know what? I think this is just time.' She knows the show is at a crossroads right now and I don't even want to talk about where we're going with it."
Cohen admitted he and the Grammy-winning artist were both "crying a little bit at the end of the call," adding that Burruss' future on the network isn't exactly done for good.
"I kind of worked myself up into a lather as we were talking," he said. "I told her I know that Bravo will be in business with her for a long time. They've got other things in development, so she is a talent that they're not gonna want to let go."
"She is one of the greats," he concluded. "So, thank you Kandi for your service. I did tell her, I was like, 'You know, Kandi, you could drop back in in a year or two.'"
Keep reading to see how high Burruss ranks on E!'s definitive list of every Real Housewife ever.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family)