American Idol

Jennifer Lopez: Why We Saved Idol's Casey Abrams

03/30/2011 at 04:10 PM EDT

American Idol: Jennifer Lopez - Casey Abrams Saved
Ryan Seacrest (left) and Casey Abrams chat with Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler
Frank Micelotta/FOX/PictureGroup
Viewers voted to eject Casey Abrams from American Idol last week, only to have the judges, in one tension-filled moment, fight back to use their one precious save to keep him.

But with adrenaline pumping and emotions running high, was that the right choice? Most definitely, insists Jennifer Lopez.

"It was crazy. And we knew that it was kind of a radical decision because it was so early in the season," the judge explained to Ryan Seacrest on his KIIS-FM radio show Wednesday.

So Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson made the tough decision. "To be quite honest, there's been decisions that we've made or that I've thought about and I've made and I've pushed for that I thought, 'Oh God, did we do the right thing?' " Lopez said. "But that's one decision that I have not lost one ounce of sleep over. I just knew it was the right thing. Randy knew it was the right thing. Steven knew it was the right thing. This is one of our most dynamic performers. He's so interesting. He's so talented. I know it's crazy but we have to do it."



Even with the risks – the judges are now out of saves for the rest of the season – Lopez says the timing was perfect.

"I feel really good about that, too," she says. "Now, it's up to America. I really feel we've put 11 amazing contestants in front of them and now it's [a question of] who they're favorite is, who's going to be their American Idol. I feel really good about putting that in their hands."

And, Lopez tells Seacrest, she's relishing the drama of those moments.

"I've been having a ball with it," she says. "I love working with all you guys and it's just been a lot of fun. I didn't realize that I was going to fall in love with all the contestants the way I have and feel for them the way I do. It's just been a great, great experience for me."

Even one that she says was meant to be: "I've been watching at home for so long," she says, "but it's like this is where I'm supposed to be sitting."

Still, Lopez has a packed schedule coming up, including touring for her music, and won't nail down whether she'll be back next season. "We'll see," she says. "All of the prospects are exciting."

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