"She was one of the most talented singers we had," Lopez said, calling into Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show Friday morning. "I'm still shocked."
Why does Lopez think Toscano was eliminated?
"Honestly, I don't know what happened," she said. "[Maybe] people thought she was safe, as I did ... Maybe there was something that wasn't connecting [with the audience] that we didn't see."
Lopez, who likened the ousted singer to a prized student, said she and her fellow judges – Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler – pushed Toscano every week because they had high standards for her and saw her talent. "Honestly, I always had the best intentions," Lopez said. "I just wanted to see the growth every week. I wanted her to shine."
After the show, Lopez, who cried at the decision, came up on stage and had a heart-to-heart with Toscano.
"I told her to stay pure in her heart, to have faith and to know that if this wasn't the path for her that there was something bigger for her," Lopez said, recalling their conversation. "That there is something bigger for her. And I believe that."